Facebook Commerce: What Are Your Options?

There’s no question social commerce is taking off, and Facebook plays a major role in brands’ social commerce strategies. (86% of retailers plan to implement such a strategy by 2011, says Altimeter Group.) For companies that want to introduce shopping to their Facebook presence, what are the options? Shoutlet COO Aaron Everson outlined options and strategies in a Shoutlet webinar Nov. 17 (click to download slides). Here’s the highlights:

– The average Facebook user is connected 80 pages, groups, or events. Those who Like a brand are 41% more likely to recommend products and 28% more likely to continue using them. (via Forbes)

– Social commerce is a broad term: From m-commerce (mobile) to location-based and group deals, there’s many options for retailers.

"Social commerce" includes an array of tools and tactics. A sampling is listed above.

– In terms of Facebook, there’s many ways to tie your online products to your fan page:

  • Link your product pages and e-commerce site via Facebook’s Like button and Share to Facebook button. Mashable offers an interesting take on how the popular Like button is outshining the Share button.
  • Add third-party sharing buttons, such as ShareThis, AddThis, or a branded version such as Shoutlet’s custom share button.
  • Tie your e-commerce site to Facebook’s OpenGraph to offer personalized product recommendations, friend activity, and more.
  • Facebook Deals: One of Facebook’s latest releases, Facebook Deals allows companies who have a verified Places page offer customers who check in a special incentive. Gap is one of the most well-known initial case uses. The apparel company gave away free jeans to the first 10,000 users who checked in on November 5, and 40% off for other users throughout the day.
  • F-commerce: F-commerce is a true end-to-end Facebook store within the a fan page. The user shops and buys a product without leaving the Facebook platform. Delta Airlines and 1-800-Flowers are both using this option on their Facebook pages.
  • Facebook shopping: Other options include pulling a product feed into Facebook and offering social shopping on your fan page, then directing users who want to buy to your own e-commerce channel to complete the transaction. Tools like Shoutlet’s Shop & Share feature offer this, as well as social sharing tools that allow shoppers to share individual products on Facebook and other social sites.

Customers are already using Facebook to discuss products and get recommendations. Integrating shopping into your Facebook presence puts your brand in the middle of the activity that’s happening now and gives shoppers the tools they need to easily spark discussions and make online purchases.