Is Facebook the new shop of the future? F-Commerce, or Facebook commerce, is Facebook's version of e-commerce "which utilises the power of a user's network of friends to market products, create buzz and drive sales." Labels are starting to use Facebook to link directly with their online shops. With labels and retailers already using Facebook to connect with consumers directly through polls, competitions, specials and surveys, it's only a matter of time before labels and retailers start using Facebook as an online retail forum.
Australian chain store Witchery has already tested the waters of F-Commerce with their recent White Shirt Campaign. The Witchery F-Commerce application allowed Witchery's 35,000 Facebook fans to browse the White Shirt Capsule collection, designed to raise money for ovarian cancer. Currently users aren't able to buy directly off Facebook and are instead re-directed to the label/retailer's on-line store. Witchery have indicated that they may build on the application making available products from their new Spring/Summer collection if they feel consumers are keen to shop through Facebook.
F-Commerce has become very popular for vintage sellers. Gary Pepper Vintage owner Nicole Warne, uses the Gary Pepper Vintage Facebook to update shoppers on new additions to her online store. This way shoppers don't have to keep checking her site, they can see when new stock is available via their new feeds.
Why are analysts saying F-Commerce could be the way of the future? With 600+ million Facebook users, 50% visiting daily, retailers and designers can reach audiences around the world with the click of a button.
So how can you attract consumers to your site? There are many ways companies can utilise the power for Facebook, for example:
* Run Facebook contests that require a user to 'Like' the page in order to enter. This encourages them to look around your page.
* Post Facebook only promotions and sales.
* Link "deals of the day" or product announcements within their Facebook page and store.
* Reward users who "share" deals or products on their wall.
Facebook is also currently testing a "Buy With Friends" application which will offer users discounts who encourage their friends to buy products by posting it on their friends' news feeds. Users are also able to buy Facebook Credits which are currently limited to buying virtual goods. With the way Facebook is evolving, it's only a matter of time before credits can be used to purchase real goods.
F-Commerce appears to be the next revolution in online retailing. So if it wasn't already hard enough to try and avoid on-line shopping, retailing could be coming to a Facebook page near you!
Information sourced from http://ticketnews.com, http://ragtrader.com.au