How Online Merchants Can Increase Sales and Influence Consumers with Social Commerce
It is no secret that Facebook dominates the social networking field. Facebook controls almost half of the US traffic to social media sites with more than 500 active users who together spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site1. Facebook is now taking on e-commerce, and forever changing the way that people shop online and interact on social media sites.
With a Facebook store application, businesses can now sell products directly from their fan page and shoppers can purchase items from their favorite stores without leaving the Facebook site. This new trend is on the cusp of exploding into a multi-billion dollar opportunity for e-commerce businesses, and now is the time to get involved. The following five applications will get your products listed on Facebook and help turn your “friends” into customers.
- Payvment is leading the way in Facebook e-commerce. Currently in its beta stage, Payvment is free for merchants who want to sell products directly from Facebook. Merchants using Payvment will benefit from the easy installation process, integrated marketing features, and built-in sales tracking. Payvment allows merchants to sell an unlimited number of products and offers domestic and international shipping options. Their promotional features include Facebook fan discounts, the ability to “share” store and item information with Facebook friends, and built in review and commenting capabilities. Overall, Payvment has great benefits for merchants and customers, combining shopping and social media in a seamless and easy to use application.
- Shop Tab is a data feed driven program that connects Facebook users with merchant websites. For $20 a month, businesses can list up to 3,000 products on their Facebook fan page under the “shop” tab. Unlike Payvment, Shop Tab shoppers are taken to the actual merchant website to complete the transaction instead of paying directly through Facebook, which removes any worry of payment delay or security breach. With a low monthly cost and easy self-management tools, Shop Tab is a great way to get involved in Facebook Commerce with almost no risk.
- Milyoni (million-eye) helps integrate e-commerce business with social media in a “conversational commerce” site that allows Facebook users to transition from fans to customers. They operate on a performance driven pricing model, with services starting at $2,000. This is a managed solution instead of a software download, and Milyoni provides all of the technology, hosting, and customer service to ensure a successful Facebook store integration. The goal of Milyoni is not only to increase online sales through a Facebook store, but also to connect fans in a social context to promote customer engagement and loyalty.
- ShopFans is a social commerce application created by Adgregate Markets. Their pricing is based on revenue share, and is unique to each client. The ShopFans application allows merchants to sell products directly on their Facebook Fan Page, and consumers can complete the entire secure transaction without leaving the Facebook site. This program allows businesses to market to their social networks, giving consumers the ability to share their “Wish List”, “Like” products, sign up for registries, and participate in exclusive sales. Their goal is to turn “conversations into conversions” by fully integrating social commerce with e-commerce to create a unique shopping experience.
- Social Shop operates on the belief that combining social media and e-commerce leads to more customers and more sales. Social Shop was created by BigCommerce, and is a Facebook application that allows retailers to sell directly through Facebook. They offer five programs that range from $24.95/month to $299.95/ month with an additional $49.95 startup fee for each merchant. Social shop is easy to use and connects merchants and customers in a social context by allowing Facebook users to browse products through a “shop” tap on the business fan page, view product photos, and quickly share products with friends.
There is no question that these Facebook applications are revolutionizing the way we shop, making it a truly social experience. Facebook commerce offers untapped possibilities for both merchants and consumers. No one can say for sure where this new e-commerce avenue will lead, but chances are, it is going to be big.