Social commerce growing on Facebook

15 02 2011

 This week in New Media Age, Nicola Smith highlights the rise in social commerce by reporting that both French Connection and Dove are to launch Facebook stores at the end of the month. This will be in addition to others such as ASOS who are already selling directly to Facebook users.

 You can read Nicola’s full feature here:

 There is a good logic to Facebook stores as they offer retailers a more direct and potentially profitable way to connect with their Facebook fans, and starts to answer the question many big brands have been asking – “How can you make money from social media?”

For frequent users of Facebook being able to shop your favourite brands directly on the site will make life simpler and more convenient, and could well prove highly popular. Although, to fully maximise the potential of a Facebook store retailers will need to be mindful that it will be some of their most loyal customers who will coming to the store. So it will be important to ensure the shopping experience is tailored to meet what could well be a higher customer expectation of the retailer and their products.  

However there has to be a word of caution, because whilst retailers want to sell things if they end up bombarding people with messages they risk becoming viewed as a supplier of spam, and even potentially damaging the relationship they have with their Facebook fans.

Conversely if developed appropriately you can see a huge potential for Facebook shops, particularly for brands that have a strong and sizeable Facebook following, and they should certainly be giving many marketing departments food for thought.

As a marketing channel social commerce is still in its infancy and it is too soon to know exactly how this will play out, and with technology constantly developing it may well take a totally different form in the space of just a few years. Ultimately this makes it more important than ever for the marketing profession to monitor, review and remain open minded to the potential of social commerce, and at the same time be brave enough to take the plunge!




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