Are you just getting started with ecommerce?
If you are, then you must know that ecommerce is an increasingly popular way to make money on the internet.
For global retail sales, a Statista report shows that online retail sales is expected to reach about 21.8 percent in the year 2024.
Additionally, the population of users in the ecommerce market is expected to increase to about 5 billion in 2025.
These figures are not a depiction of nothing; they show that ecommerce will continue to grow through the years and it is up to online shop owners to take advantage of this whirlwind.
There are tons of resources on the internet about how to start an ecommerce shop which can make it difficult to know where to begin if you are just starting out.
Before now, you might have required the help of a team of engineers to get an ecommerce business up and running, but now there are easier ways to set up a profitable online store without having to go through too many hassles and technicalities.
Not to mention, social commerce is fast growing by riding on the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Popular online marketplaces and ecommerce platforms are quick to realize the impact of social media in boosting sales.
Hence, most ecommerce platforms offer Facebook marketplace integration to enable digital buyers to shop, checkout, and make payments right from their social media pages.
In this article, we will compare ShopTab against Shopify, which are two ecommerce platforms that allows users to sell on the Facebook platform.
Let’s begin with the ShopTab vs Shopify comparison.
If you know one or two things about internet marketing, then you have probably heard that you need to be on Facebook.
As if that is not enough, 74% of consumers rely on social media before they make a choice to buy something.
So it only makes sense that Facebook will be used for transacting businesses of different sorts including ecommerce.
Now, how’s this relevant to ShopTab?
Well, ShopTab is a standalone Facebook ecommerce application that makes it easy for you to quickly set up your online store.
With ShopTab, you can literally set up a store on Facebook in less than 15 minutes.
The company, which was purchased in 2011 by Watershed software, has now become one of the top choices for premier online stores for Facebook, with high profile clients Radiohead and Coca-Cola.
ShopTab allows you to add and sell products right on your Facebook page.
It also allows you to connect with an existing ecommerce website if you already have one, or if your products are in other Marketplaces such as Etsy, Amazon, eBay, etc.
The easy-to-use software management makes it ideal for non-technical beginners as well as seasoned ecommerce experts. Most importantly, the app is easy to use on the customer’s end without any extra charges.
It is very easy to get started with ShopTab.
First, go to shoptab.net and click on the ‘free trial’ button. When you click on there, it will give you the price breakdown that is based on a number of products. Choose the one that suits your needs and proceed.
After the initial registration, login to your dashboard; this is where you will start everything.
To add a product to your store, click on the ‘Add products’ tab, and then it is really straightforward from there.
Add your product’s name, an SKU number if you have one, price, categories, initial quantity, description, product images, shipping cost, and save this information.
Now you are ready to activate ShopTab on your Facebook page.
To do so, go to your ShopTab dashboard and click on the ‘Settings’ tab, then select ‘Add to Facebook Page’. It will automatically take you to your Facebook and ask you to confirm your user account..
In the new tab, ShopTab will ask you to like their page and show you a list of Facebook pages you manage.
On the left sidebar of the page, locate the ‘Add to My Page’ tab and click on it. A list of pages will show. Choose the page you want your ShopTab to be on.
Click ‘Connect’ and your ShopTab appears on your Facebook page.
Upon completion, your store is set up and ready to go, and it will look something like this:
Then you are all set.
- Facebook users spend an average of 35 minutes daily on the platform; given the right approach, you can leverage Facebook to get more buyers to patronize your store.
- People rely on Facebook and other social media to make buying decisions. In fact, 74 percent of surveyed people who shop online discover the products they will be shopping for on Facebook.
- ShopTab seamlessly integrates with Facebook, and you can try ShopTab Facebook for free before making any financial commitment.
- You don’t have to discard your WooCommerce online store for the Facebook shop page. In fact, you can even manage purchases made on Facebook right from your WooCommerce dashboard since ShopTab Facebook integrates well with WooCommerce.
- Using ShopTab Facebook boosts your brand awareness through the use of social media indicators such as likes, shares, follows, etc.
- Creating a ShopTab Facebook Shop does not require heavy time and resources investment.
ShopTab ensures that you are able to support major credit card payments with its PayPal integration feature.
PayPal is the world’s largest and most secure payment system, and utilizing it for your ShopTab account provides a complete turn-key solution for your Facebook store.
Integrating PayPal with your store is easy.
All you need to do is to select the settings tab on your ShopTab dashboard, click ‘Integrated Cart’, and then enter your PayPal email address and save.
Under this feature, you can also designate the number of units in stock under each product listing as well as hide sold out items from your page.
When your customers move to make a purchase on your store, this is what they will see:
When they click ‘Buy Now’, they will be directed to an order summary where they can pay via cards or PayPal.
Using an existing website is a great option if you already sell your product through a third-party website like Amazon and eBay.
As you upload your products on ShopTab, you will be able to designate a URL that will lead customers to that product’s page on the third-party website.
On the buyer checkout option, make sure the ‘External Product Link’ box under ‘Existing website’ option is checked.
This is what your buyers will see on your page:
When they click ‘Buy Now’, they will be directed to the corresponding product page on your site.
ShopTab gives you the option to upload more than one product to your store at once.
To do this, select product feed under the settings tab dropdown and choose the type of file you want to upload.
You can download these files from your page on existing ecommerce sites like Amazon. Just keep in mind that the file needs to be in a CSV or Tab Delimited format.
If your products are frequently uploaded, you can automate the product to save time and keep your page up to date.
ShopTab incorporates an analytics tool that lets you monitor your sales performance periodically right from your dashboard.
With both Facebook’s Fan Page analytics and data from ShopTab, you can have a good insight on how best to improve sales.
Also, you get daily updated analytics, visual updates for all your social media engagements, a review of your Facebook shop page, and quick assessment of all recent engagements.
You can update your ShopTab Facebook shop by manually listing product updates, or automatically.
With ShopTab, you can automatically add up to 50,000 product listings in CSV, SML, HTTP, FTP, or any supported file format to your Facebook shop.
If you don’t have a dedicated ecommerce website and your products are not listed on third-party Marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, ShopTab has a solution for you with PayPal.
With this integration, all sales generated from your store go directly to your PayPal account.
If you have an existing PayPal account, customizing your payment settings will take only seconds, if you don’t, you can easily sign up for one via the PayPal homepage.
Other ShopTab features include:
- Responsive mobile Marketplace feature
- Google and Amazon API integration
- Conversion from Rails 2.1 to Rails 3.2 for a modern and secure codebase
- Content delivery support on multiple devices
ShopTab’s free trial is an avenue to get our feet wet before committing your hard-earned cash to any of ShopTab’s plans.
If you change your mind about ShopTab, you can cancel your subscription before 7-days, after which you have to pay for a month’s subscription.
ShopTab pricing starts at $10/month for 500 products, $15/month for 1000 products, and $20/month for 5000 products.
- Intuitive user interface
- Free promotion tools
- Affordable pricing plans
- Integration with PayPal
- Limited Facebook Fan Pages support
- Few third-party integrations
If you have done your homework on starting an ecommerce business, then you must have come across Shopify somewhere.
What is the Shopify ecommerce platform?
Think about it as the WordPress of ecommerce. It is maybe the easiest and most popular platform for setting up an online store.
Even if you have never had a website, or you are only getting started with ecommerce, Shopify is a great option for you.
With Shopify, you can set up your online store to sell whatever goods or services you want.
The platform allows you to customize your store to your taste, organize your products, and accept payments via several methods.
Shopify has several conveniences including the fact that it can take care of hosting your store for you, but for the purpose of this article, we will focus more on Shopify for Facebook.
Whether you already have a pool of buyers or zero people to sell to, Shopify Facebook store can help you achieve your business goals.
Since Shopify integrates well with Facebook, changes made on the Shopify Facebook page automatically sync with your Shopify store.
Also, products added to your Shopify online store automatically sync with your Shopify Facebook including product pins, details, images, attributes, etc.
Best Self is an example of a perfect Shopify Facebook store.
All Shopify plans contain the Facebook option, so you can get started with as little as $9/month for the Shopify lite plan.
First and foremost, sign up for Shopify.
To get started on Facebook, you first need to have a Facebook business page.
Then on the Facebook search bar, search for Shopify and select Apps.
On the Shopify page, select ‘Use Now’ and sign in to your account.
When you are all set up, your dashboard will look something like this:
After your shop has been approved, you can add new products via the ‘Add a product’ link and your products will automatically go live in your store.
Afterwards, customers will be able to shop right from your Facebook page, and any product updates on your Shopify store automatically sync with your Facebook shop.
Getting started on instagram does not require a new Facebook approval; the following steps will walk you through selling on Instagram.
- Access Facebook’s ‘Overview’ from your Facebook Sales Channel and click on ‘Set up’ to get started with creating an Instagram Shop.
- Connect your Facebook account to your Facebook Sales Channel, review the terms and conditions before accepting, and click on ‘Request Approval.’
- You will have to wait 24-48 hours for Facebook to review your product and get you started on Instagram selling.
If you are not up to selling on your ecommerce site just yet, Shopify for Facebook is a great way to get started.
This feature allows you to recreate an entire shop on Facebook and allows customers to buy directly from you without redirecting them to an external website.
Shopify automatically syncs payment from your social store with your main account so that you can see and manage everything from one place.
In essence, Shopify supports Facebook messenger. This allows your customers to buy products and also track their product delivery through Facebook messenger.
Another perk about using Shopify for Facebook is its payment support. This functionality allows your customers to add products to carts, checkout, and make payments on Facebook.
Cart abandonment is a huge worry for ecommerce businesses.
In fact, stats show that 7 out of 10 customers add products to their basket and leave without buying.
Shopify allows you to see this list of customers that left their carts without buying.
You can bring many of your customers back to complete their purchase by sending them reminder messages.
Shopify for Facebook has built-in marketing tools to help you reach more audience on Facebook and Instagram. You can utilize dynamic ad retargeting to re-engage visitors to your Facebook store. This feature also offers you flexible campaign options and payment plans.
If approved, you can also activate your Instagram shop, and connect your product catalog right from your mobile app to your Shopify Instagram Shop to engage more audiences directly from your Instagram page.
Instagram checkout for Instagram shopping is possible right from your Instagram profile by taking advantage of Shopify’s Secure Pay for payments.
Shopify helps you track and monitor your customers’ information and purchase history.
So if you have sold a product in the past and you have just launched a similar product for sale, you can reach out to buyers that are more likely to buy this product.
Other Shopify features include:
- Gift cards for holidays
- POS payment
- Auto-calculator for shipping price
- Amazon and Rakuten partnerships
- Analytics and reports
Shopify has 5 pricing plans that users can choose from, which includes:
- Shopify Lite – $9 per month
- Basic Shopify – $29 per month
- Shopify – $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify – $299 per month
- Shopify Plus – Starting at $2,000 per month
Note: The Lite plan is recommended for creating a Shopify Facebook store.
- Easy to use
- Diverse Shopify themes
- Flexible pricing plans
- Robust app store
- Reliable customer support
- Pricier subscription plans
While Shopify is an awesome solution for a standalone ecommerce business, I will not recommend it as your ultimate selling option if you want to select Facebook as your primary selling channel.
ShopTab has more features dedicated to Facebook ecommerce and is an ideal platform for breaking into online selling.
But if you want to start a proper online store, then Shopify is your best bet.
Remember that all of the Shopify plans include the Facebook add-on, so even though you decide to opt for a full-blown online store, you’ll still get to have a Shopify Facebook shop as an added channel.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.