Facebook Meets eCommerce: The 5 Ws

Author
  • Anna Dickerson

 

Are you ready to turn your Facebook fans into shoppers?  If your answer is ‘yes’, then let’s walk through the 5 W’s to ensure you are fully prepped for success.

You have “taken the plunge” into the ocean of social media, defining your overall strategy and selecting your primary channel.  You are ready to get started… When, check! You have “faced the facts and joined the trend”, creating a Facebook fan page to market and promote to your loyal brand advocates. Where, check! Now it’s time to set up shop and invest in the What, f-Commerce, a term coined by social media guru Brian Solis .  It means “executing transactions in Facebook without leaving the network.”  Now, let’s take a deeper look into the Why and the Who of the latest social craze.

Why sell within Facebook?

According to MSNBC.com, “Facebook is the new Google”.  This logic isn’t surprising as the site boasts 500 million active users that spend 700 billion minutes per month networking, posting, liking and sharing.  In the past, companies have offered “Add to Cart” features that link away from Facebook, driving traffic to their existing eCommerce sites. However, multiple clicks and pop up windows later, 57-75% of consumers will have abandoned their shopping cart in cyberspace according to HubSpot. Why? 41% of customers say the checkout process is too long. So why not meet them where they are and create a one stop shop?  If you have spent time building a fan base then it’s time to leverage their loyalty. Consider some statistics released by Forbes and Practical eCommerce:

·        40 % of people become fans to receive discounts and promotions

·        Facebook fans are worth $131.38 and spend $71.84 more annually on consumer products than do non-fans

·        Fans are 41 % more likely to recommend products and 28 % more likely to continue using them

 

We live in an A.D.D. culture that craves fast and accessible information, so there is great advantage to capturing attention where and when it’s focused.

Who are the major trail blazers/my competition?

1-800-Flowers: made history in July 2009 by becoming the first retailer to offer a fully integrated Facebook online store. The store shifted its strategy just in time for Valentine’s day this year and offered fans the ability to buy directly through the News Feed.  

Delta Airlines: book a flight through Facebook using the Delta Ticket Counter. The application is the travel industry’s first eCom­merce capabil­ity on Face­book.

Pantene: Proctor and Gamble experimented with offering shampoo products to fans before they ever hit the   stores.

Jones Apparel Group: is selling its Nine West shoes and Rachel Roy jewelry to the Facebook fashionista in you. In February, the Rachel Roy store sold out of a limited quantity of jewelry within six hours.

Disney: sold advance tickets to Toy Story 3 in June through Disney’s Tickets Together. Disney allowed Facebook users to purchase tickets with their friends and then publish the fact to the news feed.

Pampers: teamed with Amazon to offer hundreds of products for new moms everywhere (The only catch here is that you must be an Amazon member to proceed through the check-out process.) During its debut in March, within an hour, it sold out of the 1,000 Cruiser diaper packs it was offering at $9.99.

Lauren Conrad/Mark: Avon’s line for young people, Mark, encourages and empowers its fans to open up their own store to friends and engage in peer-to-peer selling on profile walls.

So start thinking about giving your fans something to “shop” about. C’mon, if diapers and shampoo can sell through social interaction, then your product can too! Allow those creative juices to flow when developing your Facebook sales tactics.

Next time we are going to complete the “5 Ws” adage and add “an H” by taking a look at the considerations and options for How to make f-Commerce possible. Stay tuned!

  • http://www.practicalecommerce.com Paul Chaney

    Thanks for the mention of the Practical Ecommerce article. We appreciate it.