Here’s a five-point speed summary of a recent white paper on f-commerce from e-commerce marketing agency Vertical Rails; “Selling Products on Facebook – The Emergence of Social Commerce: How Facebook Commerce Can Be Used To Increase Sales & Generate Excitement Around Your Brand

Our key takeaway – Facebook commerce is for impulse purchases, not planned purchases.  Milyoni’s Dean Alms makes a ballgame analogy; “You are there to enjoy a ballgame, but during the game you are likely to buy some food, beverage and maybe even a ball cap or T-shirt. You never went there to ‘shop’. Those that appreciate this role of Facebook will do better in the future than those that see Facebook as just another E-commerce channel.”

Wise words.

We’ll be looking at what social commerce can learn from the psychology of impulse shopping in an upcoming article.

  1. Facebook commerce (F-commerce) is the ability for merchants to sell products directly from their Facebook Fan page via the creation of a “shop” tab enabling visitors to view a product catalog, read reviews, make a purchase, and interact with their friends, all from a company’s Facebook fan page.
  2. The Benefits of Selling Products on Facebook for Brands
    • Increase online sales: Heavy Facebook spend more ($67/qtr) than double non-Facebook users ($27/qtr) online eMarketer
    • Demonstrable ROI: 84% of business social media programs don’t measure return on investment (Mzinga) – f-commerce allows you to measure ROI
    • Build brand awareness: The Like button drives viral awareness – syndicating your brand to the friends of fans (av. 130)
  3. The Benefits of Selling Products on Facebook for Consumers
    • Convenience
    • Special discounts and coupons (Price): June 2010 study from Compete – More than half of consumers who used a coupon during their last online purchase would not have bought the item without it
    • Read reviews and comments (Risk Reduction): August 2010 study from ChannelAdvisor found that 83% of shoppers are influenced by customer reviews
  4. Facebook Commerce Applications: Milyoni, Adregate (ShopFans), Payvment, ShopTab, SocialShop,
  5. The secret to a successful Facebook commerce strategy is to come up with interesting ways to involve your audience and add value to their shopping experience
    • Know that people do not come to Facebook to shop (yet) – they come primarily to connect and share with the people in their lives.  Any purchases made will be unplanned impulsive purchases – build your strategy around impulse buying, not planned buying
    • Identify Your Fan Base Demographics – and build an impulse retail strategy for them
    • Focus on the News Feed – the most valuable real estate on Facebook
    • Turn Fans into Evangelists – f-commerce is as much a word-of-mouth program as a sales channel
    • Incentivize – give them a reason to buy – exclusive availability/pricing/freebies
    • Be Transparent – building commercial relationships is fine, but keep the relationship transparent