Here’s quick 8-point speed summary of the latest report on f-commerce, entitled Facebook Commerce just out from digital agency 360i.  The full report can be viewed and downloaded below. It’s a nice introduction to f-commerce – and makes some good points.

We especially like the idea that f-commerce should be about “value exchange” – i.e. know what value you want (sales, word of mouth referrals, advocacy, buzz, and new customers), and what value you will offer customers (exclusive deals, early access to a product, rewards for sharing deals with friends, or bonus content that doesn’t normally come with a product).  No value exchange, no f-commerce.  And no, convenience is not value – the Web is just a click away.

  1. F-commerce, or Facebook Commerce, is a subset of social commerce, selling with and through social networks and social media – and comes in two flavours
    • Selling directly through Facebook with e-commerce applications: Delta, Discovery Channel, Disney (Tickets Together), Home Depot, JCPenney, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart,  Sears, Warner Bros. films
    • Using social plugins to offer Facebook functionality on e-commerce sites (note also the recent trend of integrating Facebook functionality into bricks and mortar stores): GoJane, JanSport, Levi’s (Friends Store)
  2. Facebook commerce operates on two levels. First, it appeals to your core audience, those who already “like” you or visit your site. If such a program is successful, then your existing customers will spread the word about their favorite products and recent purchases to their friends on Facebook, generating awareness and possible referrals from their friends who may not be your customers already.
  3. Facebook commerce is especially well suited to event commerce – making products available for limited times or in limited quantities can be Facebook commerce, since customers will want to tell their friends – once they’ve snapped up the deal themselves.
  4. Think value exchange – you want sales, word of mouth referrals, advocacy, buzz, and new customers, but what do customers want? Offer exclusive deals, early access to a product, rewards for sharing deals with friends, or bonus content that doesn’t normally come with a product.
  5. Remember that whilst promising, Facebook Commerce market is small and experimental, just a part of the fledgling social commerce market: global social commerce revenues are predicted to grow from $5 billion in 2011 to $30 billion in 2015 (Booz & Co). IDC Consulting analyst Mike Fauscette predicts, “In three to five years, 10% to 15% of total consumer spending in developed countries may go through sites such as Facebook.”
  6. Advantages of Facebook Commerce
    • Facebook Commerce can drive:
      • Customer Acquisition
      • Customer Loyalty
      • Customer Advocacy
    • Facebook Commerce can offer
      • Instant Personalisation
      • Speed and Timeliness
      • Targeting
      • Scale
      • Brand Building
  7. 6 steps for creating a successful Facebook commerce program
    1. Define your objectives up front. Acquiring new customers? Launching a new product?  Converting your customers into advocates?
    2. The new KISS: keep it social, stupid. Avoid  putting a massive product catalog on Facebook without any social functionality.
    3. Check with legal.  the lawyers. To avoid potential issues like channel conflicts
    4. Consider scaling back. Offering fewer products for limited times, possibly with preferred pricing, can help motivate consumers to make an impulse buy. Consumers can also be your best curators. Give them a say in what you sell
    5. Try before you buy. Experience Facebook commerce yourself by buying from other brands already selling on Facebook
    6. Set up the promotional strategy. Advertise and PR your store, the “if you build it, they will come” approach has never worked in social media, and it won’t work for Facebook Commerce
  8. The Future of Facebook Commerce
    • A narrowing of what gets sold on Facebook
      • Remarkable (newsworthy, exciting, inspiring) goods and deals
      • High involvement goods with personal significance for which people typically seek peer advice
    • Integration of Facebook Mobile (to extend relevance and reach) and Facebook Credits (to ease friction)

360i POV on Facebook Commerce