Facebook is tightening its ties with e-commerce platform Shopify to make it even easier for consumers to shop on the social network.
The companies announced Wednesday that Shopify merchants will soon be able to sell their wares through a new Shop section on small business Facebook pages. When a user clicks on a product, merchants can either direct shoppers from Facebook to their online store or let them checkout directly on the Facebook site or mobile app. Shopify will handle payment processing and transaction tracking.
The feature is part of Facebook's effort to merge together social and mobile commerce, and ultimately make mobile commerce function better on the social network than it does on the web. With these types of integrations, merchant Facebook pages are slowly evolving from basic promotion platforms to bonafide online stores.
Shopify and Facebook have been working together for more than a year now, starting with a buy button integration announced earlier this year.
Shopify offers an all-in-one commerce platform that's used by more than 175,000 small business merchants, and the Canadian company has also inked a partnership with Pinterest that allow its merchants to sell products via buyable Pins.
Shopify also offers a mobile buy SDK that allows its merchants to accept orders inside a native iOS app, as well as accept Apple Pay.
"For the last year, we have been working closely with Facebook on the 'Buy' call-to-action button and now the Shop section on Pages," said Satish Kanwar, director of product at Shopify, in a statement.
When I spoke to Kanwar in June about buy buttons, he said Shopify's Facebook store solution is one of the most widely used on the social network, a feat he credits with the simplicity of its platform and the sheer size of its merchant base. But beyond the obvious, Shopify has been aggressively pursuing partnerships -- and landing them -- making its platform one of the most broadly competitive on the market.
"We expect this to be a pretty massive opportunity for merchants and social platforms alike," Kanwar said. "There is so much engagement happening on social media and we think this is going to be a natural way people buy and sell things."