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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling on each Shopify Sales Channel

Shopify is a channel used by more than 1.35 million sellers, so it's safe to say that it's one of the most popular online store platforms for both new and experienced sellers. Entrepreneurs tend to flock to Shopify because it has so many store management and eCommerce features. One of these features is the ability to sell through multiple channels.  But not every Shopify user has used this feature to its fullest... Yet.  In the online economy of today, selling and marketing through multiple channels is a must. In fact, 89% of a company's customers stay with them if they have a good multi-channel marketing plan. If that hasn't gotten your attention, the fact that customers who shop through multiple channels have a 30% higher lifetime value should.  So, whether you're new to selling through multiple channels or just want to know how to make the most of each one that Shopify offers, we've got you covered.  Let's dive in!  

The Importance of Selling on Multiple Channels

Before we look at each sales channel individually, let's talk briefly about multi-channel selling as a whole. On the surface, this might look like a lot of work. After all, you set up a Shopify site so you could sell through your own storefront, right? So, doesn't each new way to sell add more work and complexity to the mix?  Yes, some of this is true. But it's worth it, especially since over 66% of online shoppers use more than one sales channel to buy something.  Using multiple sales channels gives you a wider reach and lets you connect with your target audience on all the channels they prefer. For example, not everyone is comfortable shopping online at stores they don't know. They might feel more at ease buying your products on Amazon, though. 
“Using multiple sales channels gives you a wider reach and lets you connect with your target audience on all the channels they prefer.” 
The main idea behind omnichannel selling is to meet customers where they are. This means selling more specifically, which leads to a better customer experience.  The most important reason to use multi-channel selling is to increase visibility and sales. This is backed up by the fact that companies that use multi-channel marketing are three times more effective than those that don't. You can also learn more about how your customers act by collecting more data about them. It's a win-win situation.

Selling through More Than One Channel is Easier Than You Might Think

Shopify makes it easy to set up more than one way to sell your products. Most of the time, Shopify syncs products with other sales channels automatically to help you stock and manage your other storefronts.  Also, you can do the following from the comfort of your Shopify dashboard: 
  • Keep track of products and orders on Shopify and on new sales channels. 
  • Check to see if the product is available in new ways to sell it. 
  • Put your listings on the channels you want. 
  • Create and manage discounts 
  • Get order updates from different sources. 
  • Generate sales reports across different sales channels 
  • Sort your order history by where you sold it.

General Considerations

It's important to remember that each sales channel has its own rules about who can use it. Some stores might not be able to meet these requirements. If there are any important eligibility requirements, we've listed them in the sections below, like the location requirements for Shopify's wholesale marketplace. 
NOTE: As a general rule, assume that each channel has its own set of rules for the community. Your store shouldn't promote hate, racism, or anything else that could put people in danger. Most stores will pass these requirements with flying colors, but if you sell products that are more specialized or grown-up, you may want to read each channel's community guidelines carefully before moving forward.
 

Shopify and Facebook Shop is the first sales channel for Shopify

channel online store Facebook is a great place to show what your brand stands for and how it speaks. You can do this by posting about upcoming sales, starting discussions, sharing useful content, etc.  Many customers also like using social media to talk to their favorite brands. In fact, 63% of customers expect brands to be active on social media and provide customer service through these channels.  So, here are the pros and cons of selling through your Facebook Shop from your Shopify store.

THE PROS OF SHOPIFY'S SALES CHANNEL FOR ITS FACEBOOK SHOP:

More than 30% of people who shop online find new things to buy through social media, with 26% saying that Facebook is their main source.  Considering these numbers, you'll be glad to hear that it's easy to connect your Shopify store to your Facebook shop. You don't have to upload your products more than once to get them to work together, so you can get started right away.  Among the other benefits are: 
  • You can also make your Facebook Shop page a nice storefront. 
  • You can put links to products in your Facebook posts, which people can like, comment on, and share. 
  • Launching your Facebook Shop also lets you set up a checkout on Instagram (more on that in another section) 
  • Since Facebook Shops are free, why would you pass up this easy way to sell on multiple channels? You've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

THE CONS OF SHOPIFY'S SALES CHANNEL FOR ITS FACEBOOK SHOP:

  • Some people say that Facebook Shops take too long to load, which could keep some customers away. 
  • You have to follow Facebook's rules because not all content or products are allowed on the site. 
  • At the moment, only store owners in the US can use Facebook and Instagram Shops. In any other country, you have to send customers to your Shopify store if you want to sell through Facebook.
 

Shopify + Facebook Messenger is the second sales channel for Shopify

channel online store We should also mention that Shopify lets you sell through the Facebook Messenger app while we're talking about Facebook. The "Message Us" button on your Facebook Shop or Facebook business page lets customers get in touch with you.  Customers can also choose to get order and shipping updates through the Facebook Messenger app when they check out. If this is how the customer prefers to buy things, it makes the shopping experience much better.  You can also use a chatbot to set up automated Messenger campaigns and sell products directly through a Messenger conversation without being there.

THE PROS OF SHOPIFY'S SALES CHANNEL VIA FACEBOOK MESSAGE:

  • In 2019, WhatsApp was the most popular messaging app, and Messenger was second. When you consider that 56% of messaging app users say they want more information at every stage of the buyer's journey, it's clear that you could reach a huge number of people with Facebook Messenger. 
  • Small businesses can market and sell through this channel because automated messenger campaigns make it easy to do so. You don't need to hire people to answer the questions. 
  • If you're already selling on Facebook, adding Messenger is simple and quick.

THE CONS OF SHOPIFY'S SALES CHANNEL THROUGH FACEBOOK MESSENGERS:

  • If you use messaging apps, buyers may expect you to respond faster on social media once they know you use them. This is a tough standard for solopreneurs to meet. 
  • With this way to sell, you can talk to customers more directly. So, you and your team need to make sure you know how to handle customer service well and are ready to grow if necessary.
 

Shopify and Instagram Shop is the third sales channel for Shopify

channel online store As we've already hinted, setting up a Facebook Shop also lets you set up an Instagram Shop, which is a nice bonus. This lets you tag your products in your Instagram posts and stories. Also, shoppers can click the "View Shop" tab on your profile to see all of your products without leaving the app. Then, they can click "View on Website" to buy something.

THE PROS OF SHOPIFY'S SALES CHANNEL FOR INSTAGRAM SHOPS:

  • If you already have a Facebook Shop, it is easy and free to sync your products to Instagram. 
  • Instagram has more than 1 billion active users every month, and 81% of these people use Instagram to look into products and services. Obviously, this could help you reach a lot more people.
  • Instagram is great if you want to show off products that look good. 
  • It's a great way for brands that target influencers to sell their products. 

THE THINGS THAT ARE BAD ABOUT SHOPIFY'S INSTAGRAM SALES CHANNEL:  

  • To sell on Instagram, you need a business account, which you can only get if you have at least 100 followers. 
  • To link your products to Facebook through Shopify, you need a Facebook page that is already set up.
  • Most of the time, selling through your Instagram Shop only works if you have a good social media strategy to grow and engage your following on Instagram itself.
 

Shopify + Amazon is the fourth sales channel for Shopify

channel online store Nearly 184 million people visit Amazon every month, and sellers say that when they join the Amazon marketplace, their sales go up by 50%.  With Amazon as a sales channel, Shopify lets you get a piece of that pie. Here, you can keep track of and manage your Amazon products. You can also make new offers for Amazon products that aren't tied to your Shopify store.  To use Amazon as a sales channel for Shopify, you need an Amazon Seller Central professional seller account, which is easy to set up. 

THE PROS OF SHOPIFY’S AMAZON SALES CHANNEL:

  • Many people like shopping on Amazon because it's easy to find what they want, compare prices quickly, and get their items quickly. By putting your products on Amazon, you give people the chance to quickly add them to their carts along with whatever else they're buying. 
  • It gives you a chance to send people to your Shopify store. Even if people haven't heard of your Shopify store, they may be more likely to check it out if they like your Amazon brand. This is especially true if you can put a link to your Shopify site on the packaging for your goods. 
  • When you sell on Amazon, your product gets seen by more people, which could help you grow faster and easier. 

THE CONS OF SHOPIFY’S AMAZON SALES CHANNEL:

  • You can only sell in US dollars or Canadian dollars. 
  • Your Amazon channel must be set to the same region as your Shopify store. 
  • You must have a return policy that is at least as good as Amazon's. 
  • You must also fill orders through your Shopify dashboard. This means you can't use Fulfillment by Amazon. So, you'll miss out on one of the easiest ways to get Amazon products to your customers.
 

Shopify's Buy Button is the fifth sales channel

channel online store If you post content all over the Internet, why not use these places to sell your products? You can put the Shopify Buy Button on your website or blog, even if it is made with WordPress or Squarespace. With the Buy Button, customers can go straight to your Shopify checkout to make sure their online shopping goes smoothly. 

THE PROS OF THE SHOPIFY BUY BUTTON: 

  • If you have a blog, the Buy Button makes it easy to sell things from it. For example, if you write guides or reviews of your own products, you can add a "buy" button to make it easy for readers to buy right away.
  • Putting a "buy" button on your website is simple. 

THE CONS OF THE SHOPIFY BUY BUTTON: 

  • The Buy Button has one small restriction: you shouldn't put it right on your Shopify store or blog because it could mess up your checkout process. Use the Shopify Buy Button on external blogs or sites hosted on other platforms, like WordPress or Squarespace. Instead of the Buy Button on your Shopify site, use a permalink to preload your cart.
 

Shopify and The Handshake Marketplace is the sixth sales channel for Shopify

channel online store If wholesale is important to your business, you might also want to look into the Handshake Marketplace. This is a place where approved Shopify merchants sell wholesale products.  You can apply to list your business and items on the Handshake Marketplace, and if you are accepted, retailers can find you and buy from you. Easy, right? 

THE PROS OF THE HANDSHAKE MARKETPLACE:

  • Shopify users don't have to pay listing fees or commissions.
  • Since Shopify checks out all Handshake stores, your customers can trust you from the start. 
  • You can change how your supplier profile looks to make it match your brand.
  • You can set minimum order amounts and wholesale prices. 
  • Shipping and return policies can be changed. 
  • From the Shopify Admin area, you can handle handshake orders. 

THE CONS OF THE HANDSHAKE MARKETPLACE:

  • Handshake is only available if your store's currency is set to USD and your location is set to somewhere in the United States. 
  • Even though Handshake might be easier to set up and run than a regular wholesale storefront, you still have to create and manage a profile.
 

Shopify + Google is the seventh sales channel for Shopify

When we think of a sales channel, Google isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, when Googlers search for products, Google shows them in its "Shopping" tab. Even better, Google will list your products for free!  Shopify can automatically sync your products and store information with the Google Merchant Center. This means you don't have to manually list your products on Google; the whole process is taken care of for you! 

THE PROS OF SHOPIFY’S GOOGLE SALES CHANNEL:

  • Many customers who want to buy do their first research on products on Google. Because of this, this platform can increase both brand awareness and sales. 
  • It's hard to say no to free campaigns, and you don't have to pay to list your products in the Google Sales channel. 

THE CONS OF SHOPIFY’S GOOGLE SALES CHANNEL:

  • Only if you have a Google Ads account and a Google Merchant Center account will you show up on Google's Shopping tab. 
  • Ads aren't changed on their own. You'll have to do this by hand from inside your Google Ads account if you want to make more targeted campaigns. 
  • US stores are the only ones that can get free Google Shopping tab listings.
 

Shopify + Walmart Marketplace is the eighth sales channel for Shopify

You can also sell on the Walmart Marketplace, which is another great way to sell through Shopify. When your Shopify store is ready, you can apply to sell on the Walmart Marketplace. If approved, you can start selling to the 120 million or more people who visit Walmart's website every month.  There are no setup or monthly fees to sell on the Walmart Marketplace through your Shopify store. Like the other Shopify sales channels on this list, you can keep track of all your sales in your Shopify dashboard. 

THE PROS OF SHOPIFY’S WALMART MARKETPLACE SALES CHANNEL:

  • Get your product in front of the 120 million or more people who visit the Walmart Marketplace online every month. 
  • There are no start-up or monthly fees. 
  • Your Shopify dashboard is where you can keep track of all of your sales and customers. 
  • It's easy to add items to the Walmart Marketplace. 
  • You can add as many items as you want, and you can edit all of your listings at once. 

THE CONS OF SHOPIFY’S WALMART MARKETPLACE SALES CHANNEL:

  • Sellers must be from the United States and have a US tax ID. 
  • Sellers must give their items UPC or GTIN codes. 
  • Products must qualify to be sold on Walmart.com. 
  • Products must meet Walmart’s service requirements
 

Shopify + eBay is the ninth sales channel for Shopify

eBay is one of the most popular online marketplaces, and you can connect your Shopify store directly to eBay to reach more customers and sell more products. 

THE PROS OF SHOPIFY’S WALMART MARKETPLACE SALES CHANNEL:

  • With eBay's large customer base, you can reach more people. 
  • You can easily list products and take care of everything from your Shopify dashboard. 
  • Use eBay's built-in messaging service to talk to your customers. 
  • It also works with PayPal. 

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 can't sell on international eBay sites directly.
 

Are you ready to start selling through more than one channel?

Shopify users can and should take advantage of the fact that they can sell through multiple channels. It doesn't take much work to connect your store to Facebook or Amazon so that you can reach more people and make more sales.  At first, selling through many channels might seem hard to manage, but once they're set up, you might be surprised at how easy it is to stay on top of things. After all, Shopify syncs your products to most sales channels and lets you manage everything from your Shopify dashboard, so they do a lot of the work for you.  One last piece of advice: give the most attention to the channels that are best for your audience. Let the data guide how you sell across all channels. Do some research to find out where your audience hangs out and shops online.
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