Introduction to Facebook Commerce


f-commerce is simply selling with Facebook, is a form of social commerce that supports social interaction and user contributions, to assist in the ecommerce.

The business objective of f-commerce is facilitate and execute sales transactions using Facebook. The results can be seen on driving customer acquisition, customer loyalty (re-purchase) and customer advocacy (word of mouth), and finally improve the customer experience.

Arguments in favour:

  1. Facebook is where your customers are (750 mm active users Facebook timeline July 2011)
  2. Facebook is already a sales platform; e.g. top 3 brands directly sell on Facebook: Coca-Cola ($24m), Starbucks ($20m) and Disney ($19m)
  3. Customers say the principal reasons for connecting with businesses on social sites are to buy and for deals
  4. Users spend up to 1.5x more online than other online users
  5. Increases conversion; 51% increase in likelihood a customer will purchase and 28% repurchase, after clicking the ‘like’ button

Arguments in against:

  1. Booz & Allen report on social commerce found that 73% of online shoppers would not purchase goods on Facebook
  2. Facebook has a “reputation for bad privacy policies”
  3. Facebook is better for marketing than selling; it’s useful for promoting content marketing and brand personality
  4. Enabling e-commerce on Facebook, when you already have an e-commerce could create redundancy and/or channel conflicts

Types of f-commerce “On Facebook”:

  1. Storefront only: product catalogs linked to product pages on an external e-commerce site. Advantages easy to set up and no need of back-end integration. Providers: Shop Tab.
  2. Full stores: full e-commerce experience optimised for and inside Facebook. The full product catalog, shopping cart and the checkout process are all within Facebook. Advantages include increasing customer exposure to a full range of products and higher conversion rates. Providers: Usablenet and 8th bridge (known before as Alvenda).
  3. Fan stores: similar to full stores, but offering a limited range of Facebook fan only exclusive products, this kind of stores are typically used to support an event, launch or campaign. Providers: Moontoast and Payvment.

Types of f-commerce “Off facebook”:

  1. Traditional ecommerce sites that integrate with Facebook to offer users a better shopping experience by using Facebook Open Graph Protocol.

What is Open Graph Protocol?:

The Open Graph Protocol is a solution for external websites to get integrated into a Facebook user’s social graph, this means their personal map of connections with people, photos, events, and pages. Social plug-ins are Facebook.

  1. Facebook social plug-ins (extensions specially designed to enhance the social experience of the customer): Like button, Share button, activity feeds, recommendations, like box, registration, Facebook connect, send, Facepile comments and live stream. To review with more detail please click Facebook’s developers page here.
  2. Facebook deals: allows local retailers to drive loyalty by offering special discount coupons to users who check-in to their venue. Samples: individual, friend, loyalty and charity deals.

Examples of f-commerce:

  • 1-800 flowers.com: $34 first transaction ever to take place in Facebook at 11.50 am EST on July 8, 2009 for bouquet of flowers
  • Best buy: uses f-stores to encourage shoppers to share their purchases (Shop + Share)
  • ASOS: e-tailer opens up a full f-store with international delivery
  • Delta Airlines: first airline ticketing store in Facebook (you can only book tickets using Facebook in USA only)

One thought on “Introduction to Facebook Commerce

  1. Pingback: F-commerce is about fan commerce « Carlose Lopez | Blog

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