{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

At the end of September, Magners announced that it is starting to sell limited edition cider directly via its Facebook page. 

Asos was the first UK retailer to open a fully transactional Facebook store in January this year.

On the face of it, f-commerce seems to be taking off, so should brands be launching F-commerce stores? 

Brands use Facebook for two reasons: to reach the widest pool of consumers by going where their customers are congregating; and because of the potential for consumers to share information with each other, effectively marketing the brand to their friends.

According to the blog Digital Douks, ASOS has reported that social commerce has been slow to provide financial returns.

But with ASOS being ‘the best loved digital brand’ (according to a report by Tamar), social commerce must be part of, but not all, of the commercial mix.

So why do consumers use brands on Facebook? Ultimately, they’ll buy from retailers they know and trust. A social media campaign may not yet mean that consumers buy from the brand on Facebook, but if ASOS is anything to go by, it will influence sales through the brand’s site.

And, after all, isn’t that a better result for the retailer who’ll have more control over the buying process?  

Some purchases are inherently social. The Michael Jackson Tribute concert on 8 October was supposed to streamed live on Facebook, and charged per view (although for rights reasons, this didn't happen at the last minute). F-commerce will be most successful where it is directly linked to what is (or should be) a social experience.

But f-commerce shouldn’t be simply a replica of an e-commerce experience. Nor should it cannibalise sales from the brand’s website. Facebook can be a great place to trial exclusive or new products (as Magners is doing – though whether people will buy beer online is anyone’s guess), as long as the brand is prepared to listen to feedback and act on it.

All the things that make Facebook a great place to market a brand – the sharing of information and opinions between friends – also make it a terrible and public place to ignore criticism.

Ultimately, f-commerce will take off when consumers decide that they’d prefer to buy from Facebook than from the brand direct. And brands need to be ready.

Steve Richards

Published 12 October, 2011 by Steve Richards

Steve Richards is MD of social media agency Yomego and a contributor to Econsultancy.

31 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Rebecca Moring, Community Manager at Context Optional

I totally agree that brands need to be ready. F-commerce is coming and whilst it may never replace your website, you still want to be giving your fans the opportunity to buy your product from wherever they want. I think that before long, fans will expect to be able to just click on that picture of a great pair of shoes they see on your Facebook page and buy them then and there. Anyone not offering that service by that stage, could be missing out on extra sales.

almost 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Nick Stamoulis

"Facebook can be a great place to trial exclusive or new products, as long as the brand is prepared to listen to feedback and act on it."

I think that's a great way to approach f-commerce. I would never recommend that Facebook replace a typical e-commerce site because, at the end of the day, you don't own your Facebook page, Facebook does. No brand should give that much power to a 3rd party.

almost 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Douglas Konkol

If Mark Zuckerberg doesn't stop secretly violating peoples privacy rights there will be something new, and maybe Google+ will do it, and Facebook will go the way of MySpace. My friends have stopped posting photos because of Zuckerbergs facial recognition software. They have stopped all but the most generic posts. Professionally I have removed my business from Facebook. I don't care to be even associated with the total and complete lack of ethics that Facebook is known for.

almost 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Katie Leaver

The fact that brands are thinking more seriously about F-Commerce really demonstrates the need to move to the platforms where your audience is located. I think this is just the beginning of a shift in the way businesses approach online stores in the future.
Katie Leaver, LondonLovesJobs

almost 5 years ago

Steve Richards

Steve Richards, MD at Yomego

@ Rebecca – I completely agree you should let your fans choose where they buy from, and I’m sure the shoe finder service isn’t far away! @Nick Not owning your page is the real downfall. But the plus side is the viral potential of Facebook. Although as @Douglas says, there are some consumer concerns about Facebook’s approach to privacy.

almost 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Emma Harper

There's no doubt that F-commerce is the next step in the e-Commerce evolution.
We at StoreYa see the daily growth of F-commerce in a variety of industries: Clothing, Electronics, Jewelry, etc.

www.StoreYa.com

almost 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Shoaib Marfatiya

I agree with Nick Stamoulis. Facebook owns the page and it is well known for its dubious policies. The same doubt I have risen in my blog and put question mark that f-commerce will sustain or not. You can check it on http://www.peerbits.com/f-commerce-sustain-or-not.html

almost 5 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.