So British fashion retailer Topman (part of Arcadia‘s Topshop) is opening today in Chicago, and is also opening up shop on Facebook with a fan store powered by Zibaba (also behind the recent pop-up Facebook fan-store for Marks & Spencer). Initially, the fan-store is a rather timid affair, limited to a storefront catalogue linking to Topman’s e-commerce site. But the Zibaba app does let customers like, comment – or ask friends for advice (although the advice button led us mistakenly to think we’d be hooked up with a sales advisor).

Catalogue apps such as these are a nice first step into social commerce for brands and retailers into social commerce, especially those looking to avoid the hassle of creating a new retail channel. Nevertheless we hope Topman will soon be offering fan-specials on its fan-store (linking – if necessary – to fan-only pages on their e-commerce site) – to give their fan-store a compelling reason to exist.  Integrating the Topman e-commerce site with Facebook would facilitate things here.

Zibaba certainly ‘get’ social commerce – and their Facebook app plays nice with eBay’s popular opensource-ish e-commerce software Magento.  The Tel Aviv outfit, also in New York and London has just produced a nice introductory video “Facebook commerce in a nutshell‘ embedded below.