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360i Point of View Series on
Social Commerce: Facebook Commerce
How are people really using Facebook? While they’re not primarily going there to shop, they areroutinely influenced by Facebook posts. Facebook operates as a parallel online universe to the broaderweb, where people go to interact with friends, upload photos, play games, and plan events, whileinteracting with brands falls under the broader umbrella of people using the platform to connect withand share what they’re interested in. Understanding why people use Facebook offers clues as to whatwill work and what won’t with Facebook commerce, the details of which are covered in the rest of thisPOV.
4) What’s the value exchange between the brand and consumer?
When consumers use social media in particular, they’re wondering, “What’s in it for me?” There aremany kinds of value brands can provide, and with social commerce in particular, this can include:exclusive deals, early access to a product, rewards for sharing deals with friends, or bonus content thatdoesn’t normally come with a product. Once you find the value proposition and align it with yourobjectives, arsenal, and rules, then you’ve opened the door for consumers to provide value in return:sales, word of mouth referrals, advocacy, buzz, and new customers.The rest of the POV tackles several other questions specific to this subject: How does Facebookcommerce work? How are brands using it? What are the benefits, and what pitfalls you should be awareof? What are the opportunities in the near and longer term? For the answers, read on.
The two types of Facebook commerce
There are two ways that marketers can offer social commerce to their customers through Facebook:1)
Sell directly through Facebook.
Today, this generally happens by creating a branded page onFacebook and offering a store through an application. These stores can sell everything from a single,product to a catalog with millions of SKUs (the latter is not recommended; read on for more on why).Facebook is currently the center of social commerce activity, and it will be the foreseeable future giventhe sheer size with over 600 million users. It dominates social media usage in the US and is the leaderin most markets worldwide. Beyond that, Facebook is a platform that marketers can build upon. Itdeserves the disproportionate interest thanks to its scale and the potential for its platform to providedeep social integration with the purchase process. However, there are numerous challenges to runningsocial commerce on Facebook, and those are discussed below.