With more than 1.35 million sellers relying on Shopify, it’s safe to say that Shopify is one of the most popular online store platforms for new and veteran sellers alike. Entrepreneurs tend to flock towards Shopify because of the countless store management and ecommerce features they offer, and multi-channel selling is part of that appeal.
However, it’s a feature that not every Shopify user has fully explored… Yet.
Multi-channel selling and marketing in today’s online economy is imperative. In fact, companies with effective multi-channel marketing strategies retain a whopping 89% of their customers. If that hasn’t piqued your interest, the fact that customers who shop across multiple channels boast a 30% higher lifetime value should!
So, whether you’re new to multi-channel selling or want clarity on making the most out of each sales channel that Shopify offers, we have you covered.
Let’s dive in!
The Importance of Multi-Channel Selling
Before we take a look at each individual sales channel, let’s have a quick chat about multi-channel selling as a whole. At first glance, this might seem like lots of effort. After all, you’ve launched a Shopify site to sell via your own storefront, right? So, surely each new sales channel adds extra complexity and work into the mix?
Yes, this is partially true. However, it pays off, especially when we consider that over 66% of online shoppers rely on more than one sales channel to make a purchase.
Leveraging multiple sales channels ensures a broader reach and enables you to engage your target demographic across all their preferred channels. For instance, not everyone’s comfortable doing business with online stores they don’t know. However, they might feel more comfortable purchasing your products on Amazon.
Leveraging multiple sales channels ensures a broader reach and enables you to engage your target demographic across all their preferred channels.
The crux of omnichannel selling is about meeting customers where they’re at, which involves more targeted selling, resulting in a better customer experience.
Increasing visibility and sales is the number one reason why multi-channel selling is worthwhile, backed up by the fact companies that use multi-channel marketing are 3x more effective than those who don’t. There’s also the bonus of gathering more consumer data to provide a better understanding of your customers’ behaviors—win-win!
Multi-Channel Selling is Easier Than You Might Think
Shopify makes it easy to establish multiple sales channels. In most cases, Shopify automatically syncs products with other sales channels to help you populate and manage your other storefronts.
Also, from the convenience of your Shopify dashboard, you can:
- Keep track of products and orders across both Shopify and new sales channels
- Check the product’s availability for new sales channels
- Assign listings to your chosen channels (or even sync up whole product categories)
- Create and manage discounts
- Receive order notifications from different channels
- Generate sales reports across different sales channels
- Filter your order history by sales channel
It’s worth noting that each sales channel comes with its own eligibility requirements. These requirements might exclude a considerable number of stores. Where applicable, we’ve outlined any notable eligibility requirements in the sections below—like Shopify’s wholesale marketplace’s regional requirements.
Note: Assume as a general rule that each channel comes with its own community guidelines. Your store should not incite hate, racism, or showcase anything that might put your audience in danger. The vast majority of stores will pass these requirements with flying colors, however, if you sell products of a more niche or mature nature, you may wish to review each channel’s community guidelines in detail before going ahead.
Shopify Sales Channels #1: Shopify + Facebook Shop
Whether you’re posting about upcoming promotions, starting discussions, sharing valuable content, etc., Facebook is a great place to communicate your brand’s values and voice.
With that said, here are the pros and cons of selling from your Shopify store via your Facebook Shop.
The Pros of Shopify’s Facebook Shop Sales Channel:
Over 30% of online shoppers find new things to buy on social media, with 26% naming Facebook as their primary source.
In light of these stats, you’ll be pleased to know that integrating your Shopify and Facebook Shop is a breeze. You don’t need to upload your products more than once to sync them up, so you can hit the ground running in next-to-no time.
Other advantages include:
- You can also transform your Facebook Shop page into an appealing storefront
- You can link products to your Facebook posts which can be liked, commented on, and shared
- Launching your Facebook Shop also enables you to set up a checkout on Instagram (more on that in another section)
- Facebook Shops are free, so why would you pass up on this easy multi-channel selling opportunity? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
The Cons of Shopify’s Facebook Shop Sales Channel:
- Some users complain that Facebook Shops take a while to load, which might deter some customers
- You have to comply with Facebook’s regulations—not all content o products are welcome on Facebook
- Facebook and Instagram Shops are currently only available to US store owners. To sell through Facebook in any other country, you have to direct customers to your Shopify store
Shopify Sales Channels #2: Shopify + Facebook Messenger
While we’re on the topic of Facebook, we should also mention that Shopify makes it possible to sell through the Facebook Messenger app. Customers can contact you via the “Message Us” button on your Facebook Shop or Facebook business page.
Customers can also opt-in at checkout to receive order and shipping updates via the Facebook Messenger app. If this is the customer’s preferred sales channel, it goes a long way to enhance the shopping experience.
You can also launch automated Messenger campaigns using a chatbot and sell products directly through a Messenger conversation without having to actually be present.
The Pros of Shopify’s Facebook Messenger Sales Channel:
- Messenger was the second most popular messaging app in 2019, right after WhatsApp. When you couple that with the fact that 56% of messaging app users report seeking more information at all stages of the buyer’s journey, it’s clear that you could massively extend your reach with Facebook Messenger
- Automated messenger campaigns make this an accessible channel for small businesses to market and sell through. You don’t have to staff anyone to answer the queries!
- If you’re already using Facebook as a sales channel, adding on Messenger is quick and easy
The Cons of Shopify’s Facebook Messenger Sales Channel:
- Once you’re active on messaging apps, buyers may expect faster response times on social media. For solopreneurs, this is a demanding standard to maintain
- This sales channel puts you in more direct contact with customers. Consequently, you and your team need to ensure you’re fluent in customer service and ready to scale if need be
Shopify Sales Channels #3: Shopify + Instagram Shop
As we’ve already hinted at, setting up a Facebook Shop comes with the additional benefit of enabling an Instagram Shop. This allows you to tag your products in your Instagram posts and stories. Plus, shoppers can click the “View Shop” tab on your profile to view all your products without ever leaving the app. Then, to make a purchase, they can click on “View on Website.”
The Pros of Shopify’s Instagram Shop Sales Channel:
- If you already have a Facebook Shop, syncing your products onto Instagram is a breeze, and free to do!
- Instagram boasts over 1 billion active monthly users, with 81% of these using Instagram to research products and services. Needless to say, this could massively extend your reach
- Instagram is terrific if you have visually appealing products to show off
- It’s an excellent sales channel for influencer-oriented brands
The Cons of Shopify’s Instagram Shop Sales Channel:
- To sell via Instagram, you need an Instagram business account, which requires a minimum of 100 followers
- You need a Facebook page that’s already set up to work with Shopify to link your products
- Selling via your Instagram Shop is usually only fruitful if you execute an effective social media strategy to grow and engage your following on the Instagram app itself
Shopify Sales Channels #4: Shopify + Amazon
Amazon draws in nearly 184 million visitors each month, and sellers report a 50% increase in sales when joining the Amazon marketplace.
Shopify allows you to get a slice of that pie with their Amazon sales channel. Here, you can track and manage your products on Amazon and even create new offers for products listed on Amazon that are independent of your Shopify store.
To use Amazon as a Shopify sales channel, you need a professional seller account on Amazon Seller Central, which is simple to get set up.
The Pros of Shopify’s Amazon Sales Channel:
- Many consumers prefer the convenience of shopping on Amazon thanks to the variety, quick comparisons, and fast shipping times. By listing products on Amazon, you put yourself in the running for customers to quickly add your products to their cart alongside whatever else they’re picking up
- It gives you the opportunity to direct consumers to your Shopify store. Even if consumers haven’t heard of your Shopify store, they may be more willing to check it out after they’ve gained some trust in your brand via Amazon. This is especially true if you can brand your product packaging materials with a link to your Shopify site
- Selling on Amazon puts your product in front of a wider audience so you can hopefully grow faster and easier
The Cons of Shopify’s Amazon Sales Channel:
- You can only sell in USD or CAD
- You have to set your Amazon channel to the same region as your Shopify store
- You must have a returns policy that’s as good or better than Amazon’s return policy
- You must also fulfill orders through your Shopify dashboard, which means you can’t use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Consequently, you’ll miss out on one of the most hassle-free fulfillment options for Amazon products
Shopify Sales Channels #5: The Shopify Buy Button
If you’re actively publishing content around the web, why not use these locations to sell your products? You can embed the Shopify Buy Button on your website or blog—including WordPress and Squarespace websites. The Buy Button connects buyers directly to your Shopify checkout to ensure a smooth online shopping experience.
The Pros of the Shopify Buy Button:
- The Buy Button makes it easy to sell from your blog if you have one. For instance, if you’re writing guides or reviews of your own products, you can embed a buy button to make it easy for readers to purchase right there and then
- It’s effortless to set up the buy button on your webpages
The Cons of the Shopify Buy Button:
- The Buy Button comes with one slight limitation: You shouldn’t use it directly on your Shopify store or Shopify blog because it may cause issues with your checkout process. It’s best to use the Shopify Buy Button on external blogs/sites hosted on other platforms (like WordPress or Squarespace), and to use a permalink instead of the Buy Button on your Shopify site to preload your cart instead
Shopify Sales Channels #6: Shopify + The Handshake Marketplace
If wholesale is crucial to your business, it may also be worth checking out the Handshake Marketplace; a marketplace of approved Shopify merchants offering wholesale products.
You can apply to the Handshake Marketplace to list your business and items and if approved, retailers can find and buy from you. Simple, right?
The Pros of the Handshake Marketplace:
- Shopify users don’t have to pay commission or listing fees
- Since Shopify vets all stores on Handshake, your buyers can trust your credibility from the get-go
- You can customize the look of your supplier profile to reflect your brand
- You can set wholesale prices and add minimum order quantities
- You can customize shipping and return policies
- Handshake orders can be processed from your Shopify Admin area
The Cons of the Handshake Marketplace:
- Handshake is only available if your store currency is set to USD and your location is set within the United States
- While Handshake might be quicker to set up and operate than an individual wholesale storefront, it still requires you to set up and manage a profile
Shopify Sales Channels #7: Shopify + Google
Google isn’t usually the thing that springs to mind when we think “sales channel,” however, when Googlers search for products, Google displays listings in its “Shopping” tab. Best of all, Google even lists your products there for free!
Shopify can automatically sync your products and store details with the Google Merchant Center so you don’t have to actively list your products on Google; the whole process is handled for you!
The Pros of Shopify’s Google Sales Channel:
- Many customers with buying intent use Google for primary product research—as such, this platform can boost both brand awareness and sales
- Free campaigns are hard to say no to, and listing your products in the Google Sales channel is free!
The Cons of Shopify’s Google Sales Channel:
- You’ll only appear on Google’s Shopping tab if you have a Google Ads account and a Google Merchant Center account
- Ads aren’t customized automatically. To create more targeted campaigns, you’ll need to handle this manually from inside your Google Ads account
- Free Google shopping tab listings are only available to eligible US stores
Shopify Sales Channels #8: Shopify + Walmart Marketplace
Another great Shopify sales channel option is to sell on the Walmart Marketplace. When you have your Shopify store set up, you can apply to sell on the Walmart Marketplace and once approved, you can start selling to their 120+ million monthly online visitors.
It’s free to sell on the Walmart Marketplace via your Shopify store, there are no setup or subscription fees, and like other Shopify sales channels on this list, you can manage all your sales right in your Shopify dashboard.
The Pros of Shopify’s Walmart Marketplace Sales Channel:
- Get your product in front of the Walmart Marketplace’s 120+ million monthly online visitors
- There are no setup or subscription fees
- Manage all your sales and customer right in your Shopify dashboard
- Adding products to the Walmart Marketplace is easy
- You can add an unlimited number of products and you can bulk edit your listings
The Cons of Shopify’s Walmart Marketplace Sales Channel:
- Sellers must be based in the USA with a US tax ID
- Sellers must have UPC or GTIN codes for their products
- Products must be eligible to be sold on Walmart.com
- Products must meet Walmart’s service requirements
Shopify Sales Channels #9: Shopify + eBay
One of the most popular online marketplaces is eBay, and you can integrate your Shopify store directly with eBay so you can reach more customers and sell more products.
The Pros of Shopify’s Walmart Marketplace Sales Channel:
- Reach more customers with eBays vast customer base
- List products easily and manage everything right in your Shopify dashboard
- Communicate with your customers using eBay’s built-in messaging service
- Integrates with PayPal as well
The Cons of Shopify’s Walmart Marketplace Sales Channel:
- The eBay sales channel is currently available for eBay.com (US), eBay.ca (Canada) eBay.com.au (Australia), eBay.co.uk (United Kingdom), and eBay.de (Germany)
- You are not able to sell directly on international eBay sites
Are You Ready to Launch Your Multi-Channel Sales Operation?
Multi-channel selling is already a well-established feature Shopify users can and should take advantage of. It doesn’t take much effort to sync your store with other channels like Facebook or Amazon to reach more people and drive more sales.
Selling across numerous channels may seem overwhelming at first, but once they’re set up, you might be surprised at how easy it is to keep on top of things. After all, Shopify syncs your products to most sales channels and allows you to manage everything from your Shopify dashboard, so they do a lot of the legwork for you.
One last nugget of advice: Be sure to prioritize the most appropriate channels for your audience. Let the data guide your omnichannel sales strategy. Do some digging to see where your audience hangs out and shops online, and take it from there!