Facebook Shop: The Next Step In Social?
More and more brands and retailers are joining Facebook, starting their fan pages, trying to start dialogue with fans and engage. The sole purpose?
There are many – get closer to fans, build relationship, spread the word, news and interesting information to be shared. And of course, to sell.
The question that immediately pops-out afterwards is – how successful are they?
As mentioned before elsewhere and also in my colleague’s article published here on ViralBlog a few days ago, the forecast for online and retail sales in 2011 seems pretty positive. According to the info graphics, at least for the U.S. market.
On the other hand, a new study conducted and published recently by Shoppercentric unmasks new points of view on prospects’ purchase journey while shopping online and obviously mentions gender differences in this process. Among many, here are the most interesting facts for online retail and social media:
- men use social media to shop, women prefer to use it for interaction;
- 14% of men shop using applications, only 8% of women do;
- 27% of male shoppers use price comparison sites, only 19% of women do.
And last but not least, 63% of online shoppers buy through either a retail or brand website, but for social media campaigns this number cuts back drastically to a slender 6%. Thus the question is, why are the prospects not willing to complete the purchase journey in social? Because the usage of different platforms speaks for itself:
So far there have been (and still are) more or less successful attempts by retailers and brands from various industries to get closer to consumers in social, to mention a few:
But the purchase itself is completed somewhere else, moreover it is a common knowledge, that prospects tend to “chicken out” from the final buying decision, if taken through too many steps and/or subpages or are brought to a different place.
Therefore it is crucial both to brands and retailers to fully understand, what are the expectations of their fans and not to mention, that on the first place fans expect something different from social.
According to Danielle Pinnington, managing director at Shoppercentric: “There also seems to be a fundamental barrier in consumers’/shoppers’ minds as to why they should communicate directly with a brand, or why a brand would want to communicate directly with them.
That doesn’t mean they won’t communicate with brands – it simply means brands need to work much harder to set up and maintain the connection.”
And that’s where the Facebook shops platform comes, e-shops in the social environment. If the fan base is already solid, it should be much easier for a brand or retailer to initiate the purchase journey and to convince them to buy, moreover to share their purchase with friends, as sharing is the fundamental of social.
As Facebook shop platform is a very deep and also hot topic nowadays, I’d like to have a break here and focus on the details in the very near future.