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Payvment lets you launch a storefront on Facebook

Finally, beyond the sale of virtual gifts like hugs and angel wings, Facebook has an app that allows you to open an ecommerce storefront via Payvment. Introduced in November 2009, Payvment uses a PayPal shopping cart for its app to work with Facebook Pages.

In addition to its Facebook app, Payvment has a shopping cart web service which allows you to add a shopping cart to any website by adding just a single line of code. Their Open Cart Network allows shopping cart systems to communicate with each other so if a customer leaves a web store without purchasing an item, their items will reappear across every shopping cart in the network. Now customers will be able to complete their purchase even if they are no longer on your storefront.

Their Facebook app is free and dead simple to use. It allows you to sell an unlimited number of items to your Facebook fans, who can now search and purchase your products across any storefront on Facebook. In theory the idea of promoting your product to 350 million people is commerce nirvana. In practice however, at the moment there are some hurdles that have to be overcome. First, search on Facebook is not exactly optimized for commerce. (Try searching for products to buy). Second, most people don't use Facebook to shop.

Whatever the challenges to ecommerce retailers on Facebook face now, the idea is this will certainly change in the not too distant future. Payvment indicates a first step in that direction. So if you want to be part of the first wave and start your Facebook storefront, here's how after the jump.

1. Download the Payvment Storefront app. This will load the app in your Facebook account.

2. You will be prompted to log into to your Facebook account.

3. After logging into your Facebook account, Payvment asks for your secret key, PayPal user name, your Facebook store name, and your currency type. You get your secret key by registering at Payvment (registration link here). After you input all the information above, press save.

4. If successful, you will see a screen like the one below. Note the message about being in Sandbox mode which is the default storefront mode. You will need to turn off Sandbox mode to make your store items available for Facebook users to search. First be sure your Facebook page is published before turning Sandbox mode off. Now you are ready to add your store's product categories and then add your products.

5. Click on the Store Category tab to add your categories. After adding your categories, you can then add products by clicking on the Add New Product tab.

6. The product screen will ask you for the product name, product ID (for your own reference), the correct product category, price, shipping charge, additional quantity shipping charge, product description, options which you are allowed to set and create such as color and size options, etc.

7. After clicking save and continue you will be prompted to upload a product image on the next screen or you can skip this step.

8. You will see a reminder to input your store's shipping preferences. This can be accessed under the Settings tab. Here you can input your shipping terms which are the very, very basic. Payvment promises more shipping options in the future.

9. After you have finished your shipping preferences, go to your Page Content tab and input your welcome message as well as your terms and policies, such as returns etc. Press Save.

10. Now you can go to the link in the top middle of the page and click Attach your Storefront to a Facebook Page. You will be asked to confirm adding the application. Adding the storefront will pull your page's profile info, photos, friends' info and other content. It will also add a box to your page and can publish Feed stories about your page. If you agree to this, press the big blue button that says Add Payvement E-Commerce Storefront.

11. After adding Payvment, you will be taken to your Facebook page. Now you will have to click on the plus sign to add the Storefront. From the dropdown menu, select Storefront.

12. You will then be prompted to insert your Facebook Page Key in the settings area. Copy the number and press the Go to Settings to add Page Key button.

13. Paste the Facebook Key Page in the second box. In the first box, type in the name of your Facebook Page Name. You can then click on the Turn on Store button and your store will be launched. If you're not yet ready for prime time, you can always press another button "Suspend Store" and your store will be suspended until you relaunch.

There! Now you're a Facebook merchant. Now all you have to do is serious promoting on Twitter and your Fan page to get the word out. Let us know some of your marketing successes to get people to your Facebook storefront.

Tags: ecommerce, facebook, Facebook ecommerce, facebook pages, facebook storefront, FacebookApps, FacebookEcommerce, FacebookPages, FacebookStorefront, features, online shopping, online shopping cart, OnlineShopping, OnlineShoppingCart, paypal, payvment, payvment tutorial, PayvmentTutorial, sell on Facebook, SellOnFacebook, shopping