Facebook Commerce presents a number of opportunities for businesses to extend their ecommerce offerings and optimise on Facebook marketing data to reach extended audiences and develop a loyal and active community online.

The diagram opposite outlines the sequence of activities that result from the successful implementation of f-commerce:

Consumers are online and on Facebook.

Facebook has over 800 million active users, but this figure continues to grow at a considerable speed. Whats more, 50% of these users log in on a daily basis. These figures show the extent of the opportunities available by offering ecommerce capability through this popular social network.

In addition, research suggests that Facebook users are more profitable, spending 1.5 times more online than other Internet consumers.

Facebook marketing gathers in-depth data on your customers.

With unlimited volumes of information freely entered and displayed by users, Facebook allows companies to gain massive insights into consumer behaviour. Facebook marketing data classifies consumers by a range of geographic, demographic and psychographic characteristics. Consequently, f-commerce allows companies to easily segment and target relevant markets, in order to optimise the success of marketing communications and enhance customer acquisition.

F-Commerce drives ecommerce.

Company Facebook Pages can present an interface to link off to the original online shop, which ultimately pushes ecommerce sales and increases overall traffic to your company's website. F-commerce increases your overall conversion rate, with customers who 'like' a product being 51% more likely to go on to make the purchase.

Whilst f-commerce is fairly new companies are already reaping the benefits of adopting this new channel. For example, US fashion retailer Wetseal reported 20% of all online sales as being generated from their Facebook page.

Creating a social experience.

Facebook social plugins and integration with third-party sites, which offer login using your Facebook identity, extend the social experience offered by Facebook. Visitors can share information or 'like' products from your website through their Facebook profile, thus promoting brand awareness and enhancing the reach of your offerings. In addition, companies can tie in information gathered through Facebook with the user's journey through the website and interaction with site content.

Nowadays, more than 7 million apps and websites are integrated with Facebook, and over 500 million people use Facebook apps or interact with a Facebook Platform every month.

Facebook Commerce encourages word of mouth and loyalty.

According to recent research 75% of Facebook users have 'liked' at least one brand.

The system of 'liking' a company's Facebook page in order to gain access to exclusive content means that a user's profiles instantly becomes associated with your brand. Therefore, Facebook customers are immediately more loyal than the traditional online consumer as they have taken it upon themselves to find your company on the network and show their alignment with your brand. Any subsequent activity on the company's Facebook page or in the Facebook Shop is then transparent to the user's extended network of connections via their News Feed. This is an automated form of word of mouth, which is often supported by users engaging in discussions around products/services or using social plugins to communicate their sentiments and promote the brand.

Ecommerce on the move - made easy with mobile browsing.

The Facebook platform has been developed with mobile browsing in mind. Consequently, your Facebook Shop or f-commerce interface is automatically compatible across platforms, thus extending the accessibility of your online offerings.

Exclusivity and activity.

Facebook Commerce offers a new way of selling, which is largely based on exclusivity - offering discounts and promotions to a dedicated group of followers online. Your Facebook customers are more proactive and involved with brand advocacy and the feedback process than ever, due to the interactive nature of this selling channel. Therefore, rewarding them for this loyalty and engagement is at the heart of maintaining a happy and active online community.

However, F-commerce is a new dimension, that will not be successful if it does not offer something more than existing ecommerce channels.

Our recommendations:

The main aim of Facebook Commerce should be to translate data gathered through Facebook marketing into social value for your customers.

We recommend you follow the below steps:

  • Develop a Facebook strategy to establish clear objectives for your activity on this social network, f-commerce offers a web of solutions and there is not a 'one-fits-all' model for all businesses.
  • Each company must recognise what steps are relevant to their existing business model, whether that be to develop a dedicated Facebook Shop or to push ecommerce sales through an integrated API or customised Facebook page.
  • Make the most of Facebook marketing data to create highly targeted and relevant communications and satisfy your customers' expectations.
  • Make your customers feel special by offering your Facebook users exclusive content and deals to reward them for their loyalty.
  • Optimise on the many different elements of Facebook marketing, incorporating new technologies and Platform tools to work together towards clearly defined goals.
  • Always consider how to best facilitate the f-commerce cycle: Customer acquisition - customer experience - loyalty - advocacy.