Facebook commerce: What is it and should I use it for my business?

facebook commerce

Late last year Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said that “Facebook commerce will be the next thing to really blow up”.

Already, there are a few developers jumping in early to make the most of Facebook’s e-commerce potential, or F-commerce as it’s been coined. While some large retailers jumped in early only to abandon the sales platform soon after, smaller facebook-based businesses may still benefit from F-commerce as it eliminates a step in the selling process and is a tidier option than selling through a photo album.

You can install a shop link through another website such as Etsy and Big Cartel, however, new apps are enabling businesses to integrate their shops with their Facebook Business Pages like never before. Below I review three of these apps.

1. Payvment: Payvment is a free app that enables you to host a shop right on your Facebook Page and minimizes the steps people need to take between looking at your products and purchasing. The cool thing about the Payvment app is that you can offer your fans discounts without them leaving your page. It’s a great incentive for people to “like” your page and stay engaged if they know that being a fan will get them discounts on your products. The platform is easy to use but does not include an e-goods component as yet. It is more geared towards a retail environment and even has a shopping mall on Facebook.

 2. Tabjuice.com:  Tabjuice is another free F-commerce solution that is currently in Beta. Again, it sits on your Facebook Business Page and again it offers a good measure of customizability, with a user-friendly interface. Tabjuice only offers payments in US dollars at present but you can easily link it to a Paypal account or authorize.net.  Tabjuice is not as advanced  as Payvment but, as I said, it is still in Beta, so you’d expect that new features will be added and tested regularly.

 3. ECwid.com:  This app has an impressive array of  features, not least of which is the ability to integrate the store with both your website and Facebook simultaneously, cutting out the need to update more than one store front. You can sign up for a basic account or you can subscribe for additional features including protected links for direct selling of dowloadable e-goods such as ebooks and reports, music and other digital goods. Subscriptions start at $17 US per month. The only thing that seems to be missing is full Facebook functionality within the store app itself. For this, the Payvement App is a better choice. However, if you want to sell your digital goods directly from Facebook, this would be a great choice.

Have you tried out an F-commerce solution for your products and services yet? Would you give F-commerce the thumbs up or a big fail?

  • http://www.fionamceachran.com Fiona McEachran

    I was always a bit hesitant that a blanket eCommerce approach on Facebook may not work. As even though millions are on there, they are just sharing stuff and connecting with friends and family, and may not be so inclined to shop. I’m hoping their still might be some potential, but when I read articles like this http://www.techi.com/2012/02/f-commerce-gets-an-f-as-facebook-storefronts-fail-miserably/ it will be interesting to see what will happen in 2012…

    • https://supportawahp.com Cas

      Thanks Fiona, I read that article too and in relation to the big commercial corporations I’m inclined to agree. My point was that the small grassroots businesses may do okay as they are already selling directly on Facebook. The only thing is, that developers will likely not be able to afford to offer the platforms for free or low cost if larger corporates aren’t able to underwrite the applications.

      • http://www.fionamceachran.com Fiona McEachran

        Yes Cas, I’m inclined to agree that opportunities may still exist for small businesses who use it properly. If one is truly going to use Facebook to generate sales/ revenue, it has to be done in a way that’s fun and rewarding for followers.

        • https://supportawahp.com Cas

          Absolutely! Have you seen the Macy’s Facebook Deal’s launch? That looks promising.

          • http://www.fionamceachran.com Fiona McEachran

            No, I haven’t. All I can see is their “Million Dollar Makeover” promotion. I think with Facebook, it probably won’t work just as an online store, but it will need to offer unique or extra discounted items, to really make people shop there. Otherwise they will just keep to the normal online stores when they feel like buying, and leave Facebook to sharing photos and chatting with friends.

        • https://supportawahp.com Cas

          This article has some info about the Macy’s deal: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101103006752/en/Macy’s-Offer-Discounts-Facebook®-Deals.

          I like your thinking Fiona!