Shopify has upped the game, and now helps merchants to make direct sales in Facebook Messenger. The company was among a few early birds to enable direct conversation between stores and customers via the popular Messenger; and now it has integrated a new was to help merchants make direct sales in the chat app.
Per TechCrunch, the integration works by giving customers a “Shop Now” option when a conversation is initiated with any Business Page store on Facebook using Shopify’s Messenger sales channel. The Shop Now option brings up the store’s entire product catalog, enabling you to browse through and make a purchase. Purchases are completed via Shopify’s checkout portal that is already integrated with the Messenger app.
It’s still early days, and Shopify understands how things like these work; especially in a market like what you have in North America. However, the company sees a lot of potential in using the chat app as a means of direct sales. Will it work or not? That’s not a question anyone can answer at the moment. Here is what Shopify had to say, per TechCrunch:
“From an end-consumer perspective, it’s still pretty novel to think of messaging a business first when you want to interact with them, so that’s going to take some time to catch up with some of the interactions that are common in Asia,” explained Shopify product manager Brandon Chu in an interview. “The outcome is moving to an internet version of what retail used to be, where you walk into a store and share with a merchant some of your problems or the thing that you’re looking for.”
Messenger as a complement to other Shopify channels
Since it allows stores to send order status receipts to customers via the chat app, Chu believes Messenger is a “very good complementary channel” to other channels. As a matter of fact, this move ushers in a direct relationship that could lead to direct purchases within the service among other things.
“There are a few really important platform features that we’re going to be taking advantage of in the months to come, to keep more of that purchasing flow in the chat,” Chu said when asked by TechCrunch’s Darrel Etherington about the future potential of shopping directly in Messenger.
Shopify holds the Facebook Messenger in high esteem, which explains why it got the nod ahead of other chat apps. The company, however, is working on making its tools to be useful across various platforms as possible for merchants. Messenger, without a doubt, is clearly the most popular chat app in North America. This explains the choice of the app, and why it may take time for Shopify to integrate its services into anyone of them anytime soon. However, Chu is allaying any fear to that effect, so we expect that things would change as Shopify explores every option necessary to ward off competition and meet the needs of its customers across North America and several other places.
In September, Facebook Messenger rolled out a new feature that lets you send money without being sent to a third-party site. Things are fast looking up for the chat app, and this could be one of many others to come in the next couple of months.