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03/05/2012 by

Infographic: Social Commerce Profit Or Perish?

JCPenney, Gap and Nordstrom have all closed down their Facebook store fronts after giving it “their” go. So should you as CMO in retail consider f-commerce and social commerce to be profit or perish?

social commerce forrester Infographic: Social Commerce Profit Or Perish?

Below infographic shows the future of the social customer. Next we’ll blend in our own experiences with e-commerce, social commerce and f-commerce.

Here’s the infographic:

infographic socialcommerce Infographic: Social Commerce Profit Or Perish?

We have seen f-commerce successes. But these brands all had:

A. a large fan base
B. extended experienced in e-commerce
C. a smart social shopping strategy

So if you think fans are close to loyal customers who like your brand and products, you might want to offer them special offers in your Facebook store?

Or you could stuff your full shopping catalog to your Facebook fan page. But that is what you already offer in your webshop. So why not make your facebook store a special experience: since this is where your fans are!

Facebook is by far not yet the smart CRM driven e-commerce player that Amazon is. But Facebook and f-commerce might offer retail brands a few good options in the future.

But for successful f-commerce, brands will have to crack Facebook commerce first. And think much harder in terms of loyalty and CRM: how do I add value to my sweet spot customers AKA fans.

And this is why so many brands are failing in f-commerce right now: not very experienced in loyalty, CRM and customer connectivity programs.

selling on facebook f commerce Infographic: Social Commerce Profit Or Perish?

I do believe in a See, Like, Buy model at Facebook; qhere fans can see i.e. a fashion show on video. Next the fans can like and share what they have seen. And it would be smart to close the loop: let them buy the items they loved in just a few clicks.

But this is where to many brands fail right now. Not fair to blame Facebook of f-commerce in these cases. Why?

If your customer journey takes that potential buyer back from a product in the Facebook store, all the way to the homepage of your web shop, where he next needs to select his country and must click around for 10 minutes to detect that item again.

Noper, is this is your customer journey; f-commerce will not work for you. But if you should be blaming f-commerce for that? Try a social agency or a digital agency that masters UI, usability, e-commerce, landingpages and conversions. They will lead you the way to a better customer journey and a successful f-commerce operation.

If you are a CRM and client focused brand, that has already embraced e-commerce for a couple of years, you will probably make your social commerce and f-commerce project a profitable one.

To brands that have not embraced e-commerce yet, I have a short benchmark and accompanying message for you.

A shopping benchmark:
More and more commerce will switch from brick retail stores to online shops. And the mobile handset will become a very important (is already) next gateway to brands, communities, content and commerce.

So a SoLoMo (social, local, mobile presence) might drive your online store sales and increase your offline store traffic and sales.

But in The Netherlands, a very small but advanced pilot market, 25% of the retail stores might have disappeared by the end of 2015, due to the crisis and the fact that more and more people are buying their stuff online.

The number of empty square store meters in Holland might grow from 2 million square meters today, towards around 8 million square meters by the end of 2015.

So this benchmark might help you to convince other brand stakeholders and might enable you to speed up your e-commerce, social commerce and f-commerce operation and dedication?

What About You?
What are your thoughts on social commerce, social shopping or f-commerce? Why is it going to be profit or perish in your opinion?

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker.

Sources: SMI and Search Engine Watch.


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Comments (14)

  • Rudi de Groot 04/05/2012, 14:43

    Hola Igor, thanks for eloborating on your clear vision. If 50% of the companies will generate web sales by 2015 it seems clear that F-Commerce will lead to profit in the future. I also agree on the See, Like, buy model, so brands should make it very easy and simple that if they see a product on your Facebook page to buy it and the best way is then directly through facebook.

  • Hi Rudi

    Thanks for your thoughts. Do you agree that most facebook stores has not been very Amazon alike yet and that brands should do a much better job if they want to claim success?

    What is the best facebook store you have seen so far?


  • Rudi de Groot 04/05/2012, 15:15

    To me the best examples are Walmart with their local Facebook stores and Best Buy.

  • Aygin
    04/05/2012, 16:49

    I think that here in Holland a lot of the brands are not ready for f-commerce yet the people are. It’s super easy if you immidiately can purchase that item you see, and like, on a Facebook wall. Trust has to be earned in this matter so it’s going to take a while till it’s really a big hit.

    • I agree and don’t: e-commerce is so huge for years, that it’s closing retail stores. What would be needed for social commerce to earn the benefit of the doubt?

  • Laura Piontek
    04/05/2012, 17:05

    Hi Igor, thanks for this great article. Do you know if there are any insights about ROI of Facebook stores?

  • Who Won the Week? 04/05/2012, 17:12

    If anyone is curious how these Facebook pages were effected before f-commerce was incorporated, check out Who Won the Week at:

  • Peter 04/05/2012, 17:28

    I agree, pushing the online experience ‘feeling’ the same as a good ‘offline’ shopping experience, will result in more s/f/e-commerce. As trust has to be earned offline, and later on with e-commerce, now we have focus on this within f-commerce. Next to FB-credits, how can we promote and accomodate this? Or is it just a matter of time..

  • Zoe Alexander 05/05/2012, 12:39

    Hi Igor, the defining strategy for successful conversion is the shopping experience and that definitely involves informed decisions based on reviews as well as testimonials or personal recommendations. We are continually reviewing our site to make the shopping experience easier, more informative and a more pleasant experience. Great post, very informative and SNmedia is key to on-line e-commerce, no doubt there!

  • Larry Domine
    09/05/2012, 13:29

    Community building through sharing and engaging is what social media tools can do for organizations.

    This is what a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retail establishment does with personal contact with its customers.

    A web site only shares and does not engage.

    Social Media provides for a better ‘shopping’ experience as it includes engagement.

    F-commerce is not just about social media, but about building the online shopping experience. There is a current ‘backlash’ from larger, established bricks and mortar retailers to move back to their basics of focusing on storefronts. This is expected from those companies in desperate times, but is not a wise move, in my opinion.

    There does, as this blog post illustrates, needs to be a better connection between CRM and online shopping. This should be the newer tools that become available, not just leaving it up to personal social media tools such as Facebook.

  • Warren Knight 19/05/2012, 23:01

    Thank you for mentioning our Infographic