F-Commerce: Setting Up Shop on Facebook
Baby boomers, college students, young professionals, empty nesters — you name a demographic, it's represented on Facebook. As a result, social networking sites, particularly Facebook, present tremendous opportunities for supporting your strategic needs for new customer acquisition every day.
Facebook is currently the dominant social network, boasting more than 600 million active users, with half of this group logging in at least once a day. The typical Facebook user is female, has 130 friends, is connected to 80 different commu- nity pages/groups/events and creates 90 pieces of content each month. Their reasons for being on Facebook are to connect with friends, relatives and colleagues, and to share ideas, tips, articles and links. Combine that with the amount of time people spend on Facebook, and marketers are provided with multiple opportunities for brand placement. This now includes a new opportu- nity: putting your storefront directly on Facebook.
More and more retailers, both large and small, are turning to Facebook storefronts as a way to offer shoppers "anywhere e-commerce," the ability to purchase merchandise wherever they happen to be online. Last year, for example, small brands such as CobraHead and Orglamix Cosmetics opened Facebook stores, but so did more well-known brands such as Lands' End, Nine West, 1-800-Flowers.com,The Home Depot and J.C. Penney. Facebook is accomodating this trend by ramping up its e-commerce efforts. According to a BusinessWeek article published late last year, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based social networking site formed an e-commerce partnership group that will help retailers set up shop on its pages and build tools that let users interact while buying. The effort may turn Facebook into an online shopping alternative to retailers such as eBay and Buy.com, some analysts predict.