Monday, April 25, 2011

Facebook Commerce Blog Revision

The idea of Facebook commerce is becoming a new trend. Companies like Wal-Mart are jumping on the bandwagon. It is helping to promote and also allowing large companies to interact with their customers like never before.The number of shoppers from Facebook adding products to a cart is 3X the average.

But information regarding facebook commerce is not always positive. There are very little success stories as of now because of how new the idea really is. Facebook’s storefront also does not allow transactions within Facebook either which also makes things difficult for businesses.

Three examples of businesses that are using Facebook commerce to today are, Livescribe, and Ettitude. Facebook Commerce is more than just another Facebook page, vice president of partnerships and platform marketing at Facebook Dan Rose says, “We now have a direct link between sharing on Facebook and revenue generation at e-commerce sites.” When thinking of Facebook Commerce like this, it is clear as to why this idea for a popular business might successfully work.

 I came across an article in the Business Insider regarding this topic and it contained tips on "How to Make More E-Commerce Money with Facebook." I am on Facebook and use it all the time so I decided to rate these tips by Cathy Halligan by applying the tips to myself.

1. “Deliver on the fundamentals of commerce.”
             (Common sense) Ettitude did just this and their sales increased dramatically. But by delivering the fundamentals of commerce on Facebook Commerce, Ettitude was able to display inventory on their own personal website and within the world of social media as well.

2. “Facebook ads are not great.”
            I agree 100% percent. When I am on Facebook interacting with my friends and family, I hardly ever notice the ads on the side of my site, and if I do I never click on them because I am not interested in learning about a random product advertisement on MY page. But there are different ways to advertise using Facebook Commerce. Managing Director from Ettitude Phoebe Yu says, “You can update [the storefront] frequently, and if your content is interesting, people will ‘Like’ it or share it… you can’t send out newsletters that frequently — that will annoy people.”

3. “You can do traditional marketing but that’s not enough.”
            I think giving customers early access to new products is a great idea. This gives people a reason to add you to their facebook. It’s exciting rather than just advertising and marketing companies everyday products.

4. “Engage your customers.”
            To me this is the most important tip of them all. Having real conversations on Facebook with your customers is building a relationship. Owner of BabyAndMeGifts, Jacquelyn Myer posts her most popular items on her Facebook page, and even places several deals particular items contain if people buy an item by clicking the link on their Facebook page. This is engaging customers to use her companies Facebook Commerce page to buy merchandise because of the several deals each item contains on Facebook.

5. “Have great content and the best content is user generated”
            Actually listening to you customer’s comments, and keeping track of how many people like certain products is a great idea. This allows companies to really review what are the most popular products are and vice versa. It gives large businesses the inside scoop. Having a Facebook page is a great way to do this, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says, "you have to be where customers want to buy." By creating a Facebook Commerce page, a company is allowing themselves a platform to place the great content they create while Facebook allows their content to be user generated.

6. “Integrate Facebook into your site.”
 Livescribe integrated Facebook into their site by rebranding their Facebook page after releasing their new audio-recording smart pen. By letting your customers interact with a company’s facebook page, they are actually doing the advertising for the company. This is because now everyone they are friends with can see what they commented or liked on the companies page. Livescribe successfully advertised their audio-recording smart pen by simply opening up a Facebook Commerce site. Livescribe’s Senior Marketing Manager Brett Kaufman reaffirms my explanation by explaining, “Allowing fans to ‘Like,’ share or tweet their interest in a certain product has helped us distribute our message to even more consumers. Allowing our fans to interact with our products within Facebook before purchasing has made a big impact.”

7. “Most important experiment”
Another common sense piece of advice and not the most important to me. 

When used correctly, Facebook Commerce is an amazing tool for companies to increase sales. doubled in revenue in two weeks after adding the Facebook like button, and American Eagle’s Facebook users spent 57 percent more than average by simply using Facebook Commerce.

When asked about Facebook commerce Myer’s from BabyAndMeGifts says, “It is a great way to stay in front of customers. I believe it has been as effective as e-mail marketing for”  Facebook Commerce is free for businesses to set up, and only offers benefits from its use.

But others argue and say that Facebook Commerce is pulling traffic away from companies websites by only leading them to their Facebook Commerce page. But I disagree this is a negative outcome, Facebook is just another way to engage customers and advertise a store or business. I don’t believe that people will no longer visit a companies website, especially since Facebook does not offer anywhere for customer’s to purchase merchandise from the site itself.

However online traffic of visitors within a company’s specific webpage should be monitored just in case this is happening. This idea should not be ignored simply because Facebook Commerce does not offer Customers the chance to purchase items. Social Media metrics is always important. CEO from ecommerce also explains, "all companies are working with Facebook to sell more things on Facebook and do customer support." If Facebook does begin to sell merchandise from its site then companies could begin to worry.

What do you think of these tips? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions.

Photo from On Ideas

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