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As the CEO of an ecommerce business with over 2,000 shops on Facebook, I have a unique perspective on Facebook selling.
After two years of testing, my company sees fewer sales from our global Facebook presence than from orders originating in New Zealand, where we don’t have a marketing or sales presence, or a country-specific website.
Quite frankly, Facebook has been underwhelming for sales generation.
Expectations for Facebook commerce, or f-commerce as it's commonly referred to, may have been set too high, and social may not be as big a player this holiday shopping season as some might have hoped, but that doesn't mean that social doesn't have a big role to play in the ecommerce market.
In a new infographic produced as part of its 2012 Social Commerce IQ: Retail report, software vendor 8thBridge takes a look at where retailers are at today with their social efforts, and where they most innovative are going with their social networking initiatives. For retailers looking for a path forward, it focuses in on the best practices those innovators are applying to get the most out of social.
Is the future of commerce social? It depends on who you ask, and the answer is likely to be based on where you look.
One thing is indisputable, however: brands continue to invest in their social presences, and challenges notwithstanding, many are still trying to figure out how to convert social to sales and track the process.
It looks like Facebook could be attempting a further push into e-commerce with the reported creation of a new feature which will allow users create wish lists of home furnishings, clothing and other retail products.
The new Collections feature enables retailers to put 'want' and 'collect' buttons on their pictures, which can be clicked by users to create a wish list on their personal profiles.
The buttons are still in beta testing at the moment and will only be rolled out to the US initially, but if they prove successful there is no doubt they will be available for Australian retailers too.
Last week, Facebook launched its latest initiative designed to prove that the world's largest social network can make money, and lots of it.
Facebook Gifts, as the name implies, allows Facebook users to purchase gifts for their friends, family members and colleagues without leaving their favorite social network.
Many brands have tried to nail it, but replicating e-commerce sites on Facebook doesn’t work. At least according to Nokia and Heinz.
At Facebook Marketing 2012 speakers from both brands said that while Facebook can be used as a platform for offering fans exclusive or limited edition products, it is a mistake to simply repliate existing storefronts.
We Are Social marketing director Tom Ollerton highlighted two Heinz case studies where the FMCG brand had used Facebook as a platform to sell new products to its fans.
Heinz wanted to sell just over 1m bottles of its limited edition Balsamic Vinegar Ketchup, so We Are Social recommended that an intial run of 3,000 bottles be sold exlusively through Facebook to build excitement around the launch.
Have a craving for a pizza? Normally, you'd have to step away from the computer and make a call, but the next time you're hungry, you might not have to move or pick up the phone to fill your stomach.
If you happen to live in New Zealand or Australia, you can now place your order on Facebook instead thanks to Domino's Pizza.
With Facebook's new Timelines for brands due to go live today, I thought it would be a good time to round up some of our posts on Facebook marketing.
Topics covered include f-commerce, timelines, the EdgeRank algorithm, customer service, as well as lots of useful Facebook stats...
Some have questioned the effectiveness of Facebook as a commerce platform, but can you dismiss an ad and marketing channel with 800+ million users?
Here are some tips for increasing the opportunities for commerce on Facebook.
Recently, Bloomberg published an article about several retailers, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, Gap and Gamestop, who all closed their Facebook stores in 2011.
As a consultant implementing s-commerce (Social Commerce) solutions for my clients, I am writing to let you know that Facebook commerce (f-commerce) is alive and well and customers are making money selling products and services via Facebook.
Facebook’s new Timeline format doesn’t officially go live for brand pages until March 30th, but there’s always a few who can’t wait to try new things out. In fact, 8m have already made the switch.
Timeline marks a fundamentally different approach to marketing on Facebook for many brands, with more emphasis on images and genuine engagement on the wall.
We asked our Facebook fans and Twitter followers to help us highlight some of the best examples of cover photos, milestones, and general best practice we could find.
Payvment, Facebook's biggest e-commerce platform, has released its first 'F-commerce Facts' study.
A series of questions was sent to a selection of companies from the company's 100,000 sellers, spread across 12 countries.
72% of the 750 respondents have less than 500 fans, so this provides a snapshot of the way small businesses view their storefronts.
The research doesn't show how successful f-commerce has been for them per se, but does suggest strong adoption of Facebook ads to aid selling (39% have used this method) - with most of those surveyed planning to use them again (70%).
F-commerce is proving to be a tough nut to crack for many big high street retailers.
Major brands like Gap, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Banana Republic have shut down their Facebook stores in recent months after the predicted boom in socially driven sales failed to materialise.
Yet thousands of small and medium sized businesses are making a good living from f-commerce through integrated sales platforms such as Payvment.
Payvment currently powers 150,000 stores and adds 1,500 more each week, accounting for 80% of Facebook shopping
So what is the future for f-commerce and where do the opportunities lie?
We spoke to Payvment CEO Christian Taylor to find out why he thinks the big brands failed and how SMEs are getting it right.