In a recent blog post, the CEO of Spreadshirt, Phillip Rocke talks about how disappointing Facebook commerce has been for his 2,000 FB stores. One of ReadyPulse’s customers has documented their initial forays and failures in Facebook Commerce. All of which begs two questions – what is wrong and what should be done?
Let’s look at the differences of shopping experiences on Facebook and on a retailers website
Taking each difference one at a time.
1. Privacy – there is no expectation of privacy on Facebook. No one wants their friends to know they are buying a $300 purse, or that they are a size 38 in the waist, or what they bought their girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. Other than impulse purchases, movies, restaurants, basically anything sold on daily deals, people are not going to trust that their purchases are not going to be shared.
2. Why Consumers are on the site – You are on Facebook likely to view, read, be entertained and maybe post. You are their to share and discover, not to purchase. While you may see an ad or an offer, it is not going to be a pre-mediated purchase.
3. I have a question – if you are looking to get an answer, like live chat with a customer service rep, that is not going to happen on Facebook for most brands. While there is hope in a new industry solution like Moxie Software’s Engage+, most brands and retailers have no way to direct engage or answer a question from a consumer.
Now to think about what can be done? Imagine a web store that has privacy expectations, trust seals, and great customer testimonials. One that has stories, pictures, and recommendations from Facebook users. One where you can sign in with Facebook if you want and you are presented with goods that you are most likely to be interested in based on your social profile, and displayed recommendations from people you are most likely to be influenced by. That is bringing Facebook to e-commerce, not e-Commerce to Facebook.
I think Phillip’s blog post is spot on for Facebook commerce’s issues – but I see the solution in developing killer content and advocates on Facebook, and leveraging that advocacy where it matters the most – where people research and buy online – on your website – where you own the traffic, you control the data, and you can directly answer your customers question.