Not that while ago, social media was mainly seen as a tool for staying on your potential customer’s radar. Creating new connections, boosting engagement, building awareness – trying to be there for them when it’s time to make a purchase decision.

But with the rapidly changing consumer behavior, this process has undergone a change that everyone had no choice but to adapt to.

A sudden shift to online shopping and more people immersing themselves in social media to stay in touch with their family and friends have made shoppable content an important player in this whole e-commerce game. In fact, many successful Shopify stores now use various apps to enable and simplify purchases through social media, thus keeping up with this emerging trend.

Keep reading this post to learn what social media shopping is, draw inspiration from examples by real brands, and find out how you can integrate social commerce with your Shopify store.

What is social media shopping?

Social media shopping, or shoppable social media, is a process of purchasing goods or services by tapping on photos/videos on social media channels (for instance, Instagram or Facebook).

By doing this, customers can either complete transactions in-app or be redirected to a product page on a seller’s website.

Social media shopping example - AllBirds Facebook page

Social media is how consumers engage with brands now and can connect on a deeper level. It’s highly visual and is easy to use on the go, and that’s what makes it so engaging for the shoppers. They can access the product they like in a click or two, from the digital environment where they hang out the most.

Therefore, businesses that can leverage social media into another sales channel can gain a significant advantage over their competitors.

Shoppable features of the TOP social media platforms

Shopping on Facebook

Both Facebook and Instagram offer several shoppable features, like product tags, that can take shoppers directly to the product catalog or a business website, where they can get more information about the items they’re interested in.

In May 2020, Facebook launched another e-commerce feature – Facebook Shops – that allows shop owners to create a virtual storefront that the customers can use to browse and purchase products without leaving even the platform.

Facebook Shops carry wide customization options so that the business owners can make their storefronts on social media reflect their overall brand image. It means that you can provide a seamless shopping experience through different channels and still keep your brand identity intact.

How do Facebook Shops work with Shopify?

Shopify allows you to set up a Facebook Shop and sync your product catalogs with your Facebook account. There are 3 requirements, however, that you should meet to be able to list your Shopify products on Facebook Shops:

Once these requirements are met, you should have a Shop section active on Facebook to start selling. Note that if you already have any products uploaded to your Facebook page, setting up a Facebook Shop will replace them with the products from your Shopify store.

PRO tip: Install Shopify’s Facebook channel app to make it easier to manage all your marketing and sales activities.

Shopping on Instagram

Just like on Facebook, you can also create a similar virtual storefront on Instagram to enable shoppers to explore different collections using the Instagram app. Instagram Shopping integrates your product catalog to your Instagram page where your potential customers can easily access it.

You can also sell via Instagram Live and Stories, IGTV and Reels, Guides Shopping, or use Shopping from Creators. Moreover, you can tag products directly in your posts (Instagram Feed Post Shopping). Once users click on the post, they are brought to product detail pages (PDPs) for more information, like descriptions and pricing. From there, they can visit your website to make a purchase.

Instead of this, you can also use Instagram Checkout that allows people to make purchases without leaving the Instagram app. However, this feature is currently available to eligible US sellers only.

Instagram product tags (shoppable social media)

How to set up Instagram shopping with Shopify?

There are two requirements to start selling on Instagram:

When you set up Instagram shopping for your Shopify store, the products you have in your store also appear on your Instagram profile.

To set up Instagram Shopping, you need:

  1. To have a Facebook business page and turn your Instagram profile into a Professional Account.
  2. Add Instagram Shopping to your Facebook sales channel. You can do this from the Overview page accessible in the Shopify admin.
  3. Then choose Set up to start in the Instagram Shopping section and connect required accounts to the Facebook sales channel.

Your request will be approved in up to 48 hours after Facebook reviews your products. All that's left will be adding your product catalogs to Instagram using your business profile Settings section (Business > Shopping > Confirm your FB acc > Select the product catalog you want to add).

You can use the same Facebook channel app to manage your Instagram activities.

Shoppable Pinterest

Pinterest is all about exploring which means that 454 million monthly active users worldwide can potentially come across your shoppable content.

Pinterest’s shoppable Product Pins are kind of an equivalent of tags in Facebook and Instagram that contain the necessary product information, like the title, description, availability, and pricing.

So the idea behind Pinterest shopping is really simple. As individual users are pinning content across their idea boards and sellers are doing the same but with the shopping intent.

It then enables users to find pinned products (using a simple search option, looking for related products from their existing boards and pins, etc.) and add them to their boards. Once users do that, the products are also added to their Shopping List where they can access everything in one place.

If they decide to buy (either with or without adding the pinned posts to their Shopping Lists), they are brought directly to the seller’s website where they can complete the purchase.

Connecting Pinterest & Shopify accounts

You can connect your Shopify and Pinterest accounts either by using Pinterest for Shopify app or by manually adding the Pinterest tag to Shopify. The first option is nothing really complicated; as for the second one, you will need some code editing skills.

If you’re up for using the Pinterest app for Shopify, simply follow the instructions during the installation process.

To manually add the Pinterest tag to Shopify, follow the steps described here.

Shoppable Snapchat ads

Snapchatters hold a global spending power of $4.4 trillion and turn out to be the ones to likely convert the most. The platform introduced its first ad in 2014 and since then, its shoppable features have improved a lot.

On Snapchat, there are several different types of shoppable ads that you can use to get your brand noticed. Some of them can appear in the Discovery section, like the Story Ads that live alongside popular content, or Collection Ads that appear in Stories, showcasing a series of products.

People can simply swipe up to interact with your content: learn more, read an article, watch a video, or make a purchase.

Earlier in 2021, Snapchat also introduced a few exciting shopping features, like augmented reality (AR). AR enables users to "try on" a product, for instance, hats, jewelry, or makeup, using AR Lens, making shopping on Snapchat much more engaging.

Shoppable Snapchat ads

How do you integrate Snapchat with Shopify?

To integrate Snapchat with your Shopify store, you can use the Snapchat Ads app that you can find on the Shopify app store. It will allow you to launch ad campaigns, deploy the Snap Pixel (a piece of code that allows you to track visitor behavior), and easily sync your product catalogs.

You can run Snapchat ads once you have the Snapchat, business, and ad accounts, and have picked a payment method.

See this step-by-step guide on how to get started once you have the app installed on your Shopify store.

Shoppable content on TikTok

Despite being one of the youngest social platforms, TikTok has quickly hopped on the social commerce train.

The newest TikTok’s e-commerce features allow e-commerce stores to add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles so that their visitors could browse product catalogs directly in the app.

That’s the result of the latest partnership with Shopify that enables merchants to sync their product catalogs and create mini-storefronts that lead to the checkout of their stores.

Sellers can also access their TikTok marketing campaigns from the Shopify dashboard and use the key functions of the TikTok For Business Ads Manager. Note that this is available only for Shopify merchants with a TikTok For Business account.

Other tools include shoppable links, live stream shopping, product galleries in ads, etc. Businesses of all sizes can use these features and easily run their ads on TikTok.

The Real Gushers TikTok ad

How does TikTok integrate with Shopify?

First things first, to begin creating TikTok ads, install the TikTok app for Shopify.

Once done, connect your TikTok For Business account and ads account to Shopify. You will be able to see TikTok as an option alongside your other sales channels.

To create a new pixel, click TikTok > Marketing > Create Pixel. Then, log in to your TikTok Business Account and give access to the freshly created pixel. That’s it, you’re good to go.

4 shoppable content examples for inspiration

Now that you know that you can easily integrate your Shopify store with any of the social media platforms mentioned above and learned how to do it, let‘s quickly go through a few shoppable content examples to get you started.

1. Shoppable images: AllBirds

AllBirds is a great example of a brand that seamlessly incorporates product tags in their product photography, without being too salesy.

Their images showcase AllBirds products being used in daily life, allowing shoppers to see how they look "on a real person". Shoppable Facebook posts also give users an option to click on items they like to find out more and purchase right away.

AllBirds shoppable Facebook posts

2. Shoppable videos: IKEA

IKEA has created an interactive shoppable video ad that lets users see their products in action. As the video goes on, viewers can interact with the content on the screen by clicking on yellow shopping icons that open a pop-up.

The pop-up content looks like product pages since they contain product photos, descriptions, and the option to "Shop now", allowing users to either purchase an item immediately or go back to watching the video and explore more products.

3. Shoppable Pinterest Pins: SOBU

SOBU is a design brand that‘s just perfect for Pinterest and they definitely know how to use this to their advantage.

SOBU‘s products are nicely arranged into different collections that you can browse. Each of the products inside contains shopping links that allow users to easily access all the necessary product information and proceed to product pages where they can actually purchase the item.

SOBU shoppable Pinterest pins

4. Shoppable articles: Net-A-Porter

It may seem that The Edit, a digital weekly magazine by the online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter, was once published as per usual, but there’s a twist.

Being the masters of shoppable content, Net-A-Porter included shoppable links in their articles, bringing a traditional editorial format to the next level. Meaning that once readers hover their mouse over any product, they are redirected to a relevant product page to purchase it. As simple as that!

Moreover, the printed version of the Porter magazine enabled readers to scan products they liked using Net-A-Porter mobile app, learn more about them online, and place their orders right away.

Net-A-Porter online magazine The Edit (shoppable articles)
Source: Styla

Get started with social commerce

Shoppable posts can be a powerful tool in your strategy, keeping you ahead of the competition and helping to significantly improve your sales. Shoppable ads and ordinary posts containing embedded shopping links provide your potential customers with another very convenient shopping channel and a way to purchase goods or services in a few clicks.

Shopify merchants can integrate their stores with the most popular social media platforms and start creating shoppable content by simply installing relevant apps from the Shopify app store.

When the e-commerce competition is this fierce, every opportunity to win over a customer counts – and shoppable social media is one of those opportunities that just cannot be missed.