The F-Commerce: 3 ways to move your shop closer to customers
Facebook offers numerous opportunities for doing business. When involved in the online purchasing process, we call it F-Commerce. F-Commerce goes from the very simple “I like” on products and items of your online shop, to the integration of this shop on a company’s Facebook page. TheRightSocialMedia.com gives you a general overview of the F-Commerce’s universe, made of 3 categories.
Integrating social functionalities on your e-commerce shop
The integration of social functionalities on an online shop can be executed at a different degree depending on your objectives and resources. Using of social plugins is certainly the easiest and most common way of doing so. These latters gather viral functionalities, such as the famous “I like” and the “Recommend” button, as well as content enrichment functionalities, including Facebook comments and community activity flow. Implementing these social plugins is essential. Indeed, Facebook’s plugins generate 52% of shared content worldwide. Moreover, an average of 20 visits is generated from a shared content through these plugins, illustrating how efficient they can be.
Open Graph is the turbo-version of social integration. This tool enables websites to semantically increase the content of their web pages in order to engage the social interaction of any object (product, photo, video, etc.) through Facebook. More concretely, Open Graph allows the user to go beyond the simple “I like”, by enabling him to “Read”, “Watch a movie” or “Listen to music”. In addition to that, Open Graph offers the opportunity to use Facebook connect. This universal authentication system enables to use your Facebook login and password to enter any third-party website providing Facebook connect.
The integration of Open Graph is more complex. Nevertheless, development opportunities are unlimited and beneficial to the two parties. On the one hand, the user enriches his experience while, on the other hand, an e-commerce website might use of the user’s information to suggest him personalized services and products. As for Facebook connect, the system can substantially increase the registration rate to a platform.
Integrating an e-commerce shop on Facebook
Through an iFrame, external content can be integrated on Facebook. Offering an e-commerce portal on your Facebook’s company page is therefore possible. This portal may use a shop window type, dynamically displaying the shop’s products and redirecting to the main e-commerce platform once users click on products. It may also be a most advanced implementation, integrating the full purchasing process on Facebook.
As for both perspectives, the advantage is that they catch the consumers directly where they are located and where they spend most of their time. However, the full integration of online shops on Facebook presents two major problems at the moment:
Firstly, the bad reputation of Facebook at the level of personal data confidentiality holds back numerous users. A recent survey of JWT Intelligence shows that 79% of the 29-33 years old reckon Facebook as not safe enough to engage e-commerce transactions.
Secondly, the user-experience offered by Facebook represents another level of problems. Indeed, the long loading time and small display’s width due to numerous ads makes the Facebook page hardly comparable to original e-commerce shops.
These two levels of problems determine the major improvements required for Facebook to ensure the success of their e-commerce shops, especially if they want to impose their virtual currency, Facebook credits.
Facebook commercial applications offer a unique purchasing experience. Besides the utility it represents, it also includes a funny component. Just like the iFrames, the Apps can be integrated into a Facebook page. The only difference lays in the access validation to personal information the user has to accept, before accessing the application. The interest of a Facebook App is to benefit from the social network’s virality by uniting quickly a community on a game or utility software offering a powerful visibility to your products and services. Of course, taking away your approach from an exclusively commercial perspective will also increase your popularity.
The F-Commerce is a vast field of expertise deserving full consideration and thoughts before implementing it. While the integration of social plugins such as “I like” seems indispensable today, a deep analysis is required before deploying Open Graph or any other Facebook application. As for the integration of an e-commerce shop directly on a Facebook page, we believe that it is not convincing enough at the moment.
And you, what’s your experience?