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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?

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:

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.

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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