Friending e-commerce

Share this content:
Facebook's ubiquitous reach now extends into the social commerce arena
Facebook's ubiquitous reach now extends into the social commerce arena

If true, other similarly positioned companies could learn from's strategy. Forbes reported that may do $100 million in sales this year. And given its meteoric growth during the past few months, it's hard to deny that Facebook hasn't played a role in's e-commerce development.

Dislike for f-commerce

Some analysts believe that Facebook might be forcing an e-commerce agenda, simply because the social network has to continuously introduce new capabilities in order to stay competitive. Despite Procter & Gamble and's f-commerce initiatives, Jake Wengroff, global director of social media strategy and research at Frost & Sullivan, insists that Facebook developed f-commerce tools like Timeline, which allows companies to create a narrative to attract customers, because it had to. “I don't think it's a successful platform at all from a value perspective,” Wengroff adds. “[Facebook] had to evolve. [Timeline] had to come out. It's no surprise Facebook rolled out e-commerce.”

One serious impediment to f-commerce, Wengroff says, is that large brands have invested so many resources in their e-commerce sites that using Facebook as an intermediary doesn't make sense. “They've just done so much. For them to now have to build something on Facebook, I think they're just tapped out.”

That's partly why startups like might have more success with f-commerce than large, established companies, he says. They simply have less to lose and more to gain from the get-go. Facebook is free, but setting up your own e-commerce website isn't.

One important question companies engaged in f-commerce should ask, Wengroff says, is about the true value of the data they collect. For example, even if a company knows its core demographic, it might not be possible to measure what percentage of that demographic is actually active on Facebook. “It's not that the high-end female shopper doesn't use Facebook,” Wengroff adds, “but does she want to shop on Facebook? Probably not.”

“Consumers love Facebook commenting, sharing and ‘liking', but I think they're a little resistant about entering in their credit card numbers on Facebook,” he says. “It's an issue of trust. Shoppers today are savvier than ever. I think they know that Facebook has data [and] they know it sells data.”

A Ponemon Institute and ThreatMetrix September 2011 study showed that 53% of consumers surveyed don't think stores on Facebook are committed to protecting their information, underscoring Wengroff's point. Perhaps a way around this is for f-commerce to include interactions that have a seamless connection back to an e-commerce site or an invitation to buy in-store — as Pantene and's strategies do.

On the surface, f-commerce is like any other successful business strategy: Find customers already on Facebook, market to them and build trust and loyalty to maintain or expand upon that relationship.

Page 3 of 5

Next Article in Social Media

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above