How to use Facebook as an Ecommerce platform…

Current Facebook Ecommerce options

The rise of social media in the last few years has opened up numerous avenues in which business can communicate with their clients.  With almost a third of the UK’s population now on Facebook, the importance of creating and maintaining a brand presence on the site has now become a necessity.

As you are probably aware, Facebook allows businesses to create groups and pages, which you can use to interact with your ‘fans’/audience and promote the growth of a ‘brand community’.  Many businesses utilise pages and groups well, using status updates to provide news and even discounts to their loyal followers.  The problem with groups and pages, though, is that you can’t use them to sell directly to your captive Facebook audience. You can be as creative as you like, with incentives like:

  • exclusive discount codes available to Facebook fans
  • special, time sensitive offers announced on Facebook
  • hosting competitions on Facebook

… but really, all you are doing is suggesting links to your site and hoping these convert your fans into paying customers.

So what options are there to monetize Facebook?  There are a lot of developers currently working on answering that question, with some products already available.

Facebook ecommerce option 1:

BigCommerce is an e-commerce platform that enables you to set-up a shop window on your Facebook group page.  Images of all your products along with pricing and shipping details are also included.  So although the customer is still taken out of Facebook to complete the transaction, the starting point is a nicely branded shopping page rather than a condensed URL!

Facebook ecommerce option 2:

The biggest development in ecommerce for Facebook, though, is the fully integrated Payvment.

Payvment is a Social Network Ecommerce platform that allows you to integrate a virtual storefront into your social media presence.  On Facebook, you can use Payvment to create a ‘Shop’ tab on your page or group, enabling customers to browse your products and buy them without leaving Facebook.  This is still in beta mode at the minute though, so should definitely be viewed as a work-in-progress.

The early success of Payvment shows that not only are traders looking for ways to sell directly through social-media platforms, but users are growing more and more willing to buy directly from them.  And with half a billion users and still growing, ecommerce on Facebook could be the next defining development in online marketing.

Posted by Luke Glassford


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