I am unable to add the Facebook sales channel to my Shopify Store. I am on the Shopify Lite plan, and was attracted to this plan because it offered a cheap way to get a new store up and running.
When I try to add the channel it keeps saying I can't add the channel because it requires an online store. As per the documentation of the Facebook channel it says 'Facebook Shop is a sales channel that is included in all paid Shopify subscription plans.' I fail to see how that does not include Shopify Lite since it says all paid plans.
Here is the page I am referencing with that text.
I would appreciate any help getting the Facebook Sales channel setup and tied to my Shopify account. If it is not possible with Shopify Lite (come on Shopify don't market it that way then...), are there any recommended free apps I can add to replicate the functionality?
Julie here from Shopify Support.
I'm so glad to hear that you're wanting to take advantage of the Facebook channel. Based on the screenshot you shared, however, it sounds like you are looking at the help documentation for the previous Facebook Shop sales channel, which has since been delisted from the Shopify App Store and replaced by the new Facebook channel.
At the top of the help doc you're looking at, you'll see this message:
Although existing merchants using the Facebook Shop sales channel will need to migrate to the new version, some still have the delisted channel installed. This is why these help docs are still published in the Shopify Help Center. However, there are messages indicating that this particular channel is no longer available.
There are some requirements for using the new Facebook channel and you will need to have an online store, which means that you will need to be on the Basic plan or higher. It's worth noting that many apps in the Shopify App Store, including our sales channels, require online stores. For this reason, I recommend creating one using Shopify so you can take advantage of these features.
It sounds like you are wanting to be on the Lite plan as it's the most cost-effective solution. Are there any other reasons as to why you aren't wanting to have your own online store? Do you have an existing website hosted elsewhere? I'd love to hear more about your business plans and help you get started!
Thanks for the reply. We already have an existing website, but want to use Shopify to handle the business logic on the backend. It would not make sense for us to add an additional store just to get the sales channel features to have to migrate our site to a Shopify one.
Even if we upgrade to Shopify Basic to get the Facebook sales channel, then that means we will have a duplicate website (our current one, and then the Shopify online store) which would impact our SEO. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like there is a quick fix to this, and we will have to manually add the products to our Facebook, or just direct them to our website.
Why block the added features? Shopify is still getting a percentage of sales, so I think they would want to have all channels available on all plans. Hoping you can add my case to a list of features Shopify should move toward especially with JAMstack sites becoming more popular that would benefit from this functionality.
Thanks for the quick followup and further context.
It's understandable that you'd like to keep your website hosted with JAMstack. However, you will need to have an online store hosted with Shopify in order to use the Facebook channel.
This is primarily due to the fact that the new Facebook channel includes a direct integration with Instagram; previously, both Facebook and Instagram were hosted on separate sales channels, with the Instagram sales channel requiring merchants to have an online store. Instagram has this requirement because when merchants tag products in their posts, customers who tap those product tags are directed to merchants' online stores. With both of these sales channels now combined into a single Facebook channel, merchants are now required to have an online store to use Facebook Shops. Ultimately, the new sales channel is intended to provide merchants with a seamless integration between Shopify, Facebook, and Instagram.
There are some third-party apps in the Shopify App Store that offer integrations with Facebook Shops, like Flexify and Facebook & Instagram Shopping. I took a look to see if either of these apps will provide you with a workaround, but it seems like they also require an online store and cannot be used with Shopify Lite. While the Facebook & Instagram Shopping developers confirmed this with me over live chat on their website, Flexify also has more information on this here.
While the vast majority of Shopify merchants have their online stores hosted with Shopify, I can understand that this limitation can be frustrating for merchants like yourself, so I've submitted your request to our development team. Hopefully, we can work with Facebook to find a solution for merchants like yourself.
I hope this clears things up and I appreciate your feedback!
Thanks for your support with this Julie.
We will look into alternative apps to support the functionality we are looking for.
I look forward to the day Shopify allows these kind of integrations. Heck, I'd be willing to pay more for this feature I just don't want the online store to be conflicting with our current website's SEO and have two websites up with similar content.
Just curious if we were to add the online store, would adding a rel="cannonical" from the Shopify site pointing to our main website not mess with the current SEO?
I completely understand where you're coming from and hopefully we can work with Facebook to bring their sales channel to Lite users in the near future.
In regards to SEO, this would be an excellent question for a web developer or Shopify Expert who is familiar with SEO and custom code. I'm also curious to know if anyone else in the Community Forums can offer insight into this matter; we actually have an Ecommerce Marketing discussion board where SEO is often discussed, so feel free to post this question there.
Thanks again for your feedback, @pmar!