Daily Data

Shopify is rolling out a feature for merchants to sell directly via Instagram and Facebook, and it's a sign of the shift in how shoppers are connecting with their favorite brands

Business Insider Shopify is rolling out a feature for merchants to sell directly via Instagram and Facebook, and it's a sign of the shift in how shoppers are connecting with their favorite brands

Posted by: Business Insider
Posted on:  2/9/2021

Carl Rivera

Summary List Placement

E-commerce is increasingly popular among consumers, but online shopping is about more than visiting the website of a mall staple.

Increasingly, online shopping starts on social media platforms. And Shopify, the e-commerce enabling giant, has taken notice. Hoping to meet shoppers where they are, Shopify is adding its checkout button to Instagram and Facebook's shopping features.

"From one point of view, this was the very obvious next step for Shop," Carl Rivera, general manager of Shop, told Insider. "But from another point of view, it's a huge leap, especially given the fact that we've only been around for so long."

For merchants using Shopify, reaching users directly via Instagram and Facebook is key. And the ability to purchase without leaving the app can boost conversion of browsers to buyers. 

Shopify launched its Shop app in April 2020, which allows customers to search, purchase, and track items from a variety of small businesses all in one place. In addition to one-click checkout, the Shop app offers order tracking and insight into Shopify's commitment to offset all delivery emissions.

The release of the Shop app was part of a larger product-launching spree from the e-commerce giant in 2020. It revamped its point-of-sale hardware, expanded its use cases to restaurants, and launched business bank accounts.

By embedding Shop Pay into social media apps, Shopify can boost consumer adoption of its own Shop app. 

"We're excited to start this new year with this partnership that we believe will only continue to accelerate the momentum that we've seen for Shop over the past 10 months," Rivera said.

Social media presents new opportunities, like live-streamed selling

Currently, merchants are bringing experiences similar to browsing an online store into social media apps like Instagram. But these apps are well-positioned to offer more, including QVC-style video selling.

Live-streamed commerce, where brands and influencers sell to consumers via live streams on social apps, has taken off in markets like China

In the US, adoption has been slower. But the building blocks are there. Influencers on Instagram can currently make money off ads on IGTV. And TikTok, already a Shopify partner, is reportedly working on a live-streamed selling concept set to launch this year. 

And QVC, the age-old 'as seen on TV' seller, which is investing big in its online footprint. There are also new startups that are entirely shopping-focused, like Spin, which launched last June.

While Shopify doesn't currently support video-based selling, it's likely it will, especially as consumer demand increases. 

"We're only now really entering that video era of commerce," Rivera said. "In the same vein that we've followed every other big trend and made that possible for merchants, I'm sure that we're going to continue to lean into that momentum."

SEE ALSO: Digital platforms make up 60% of US sales for QVC and HSN. A top exec walks us through how home-shopping is leaning into live streaming.

SEE ALSO: Meet Spin, a new startup bringing live-streamed shopping— which has exploded in China— to the US. Here's how it partners with influencers and retailers for a digital window shopping experience.

SEE ALSO: Social media influencers are driving billions in sales in China with live-streamed commerce. An a16z partner explains why the US could be next, and the companies positioned to take advantage

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What candy corn is actually made of