I’ve avoided talking about Facebook long enough. “Facebook” is probably the first word that pops into most people’s minds when the topic of social media is brought up. The platform has 950 million members worldwide, and the latest buzz is that Facebook’s future is, among other things, e-commerce. Getting recommendations from friends and shopping from one platform…watch your wallets shop-a-holics!
Facebook already has Sponsored Stories, those (annoying?) ads that pitch products by telling you how much your friends “like” them. Keep in mind that Facebook has the aforementioned 950 million members, where Amazon has 160 million and Ebay has 100 million. With such a large audience, “Facebook presents a tempting channel for retailers.” Facebook can become more than a forum for friends to recommend products. A recent report from eConsultancy said “90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know” and Internet Retailer “recently announced that 67% of consumers spend more time online after getting advice from their online community of friends.” Good news for Facebook (and it’s e-commerce initiative) who has just launched Subscription which “allows users to add a credit card to their account and pay for transactions in their local currency – similar to services available from Apple and Amazon. This offers a real opportunity for Facebook to “drive significant revenue from facilitating payments on the web and mobile”
Venda has jumped in. Based in the U.K., Venda was founded in 2001 as a cloud based commerce pioneer. On their website they state that their “social solutions integrate new convergent commerce best practices, leading partnership and innovative social and mobile technologies that have helped our customers achieve exceptional sales growth with socially driven special offers and promotions.” Venda further explains that “the average Facebook user has 130 friends – if one person ‘likes” your brand and shares your product you are now introduced to 130 new potential consumers who each have their own 130 friends. The returns become exponential.” Venda’s customers include international companies including Tesco, Superdrug, JVC, Urban Outfitters, Conde Nast, Jimmy Choo, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art and they are now increasingly working through Facebook. Venda sets up a “fully commerce enabled storefront on Facebook” and essentially manages every social aspect of the brand.
One thing that Facebook has always done right is integrating itself into the web, and e-commerce seems to be the next step for the company. Regardless, Silicon Valley investors are “putting their money into e-commerce start-ups that are producing shopping apps for Facebook.”
Grandoni, Dino. July 27, 2012. What Facebook’s Future Holds, According to It’s Execs’ Hints. Retrieved November 11, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/facebooks-future_n_1710351.html
Munford, Monty. August 28,2012. Facebook faces up to a future of e-commerce. Retrieved November 9, 2012. http://telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook-faces-up-to-a-future-of-e-commerce.html