Posted January 20, 2012 4:01 pm by with 2 comments

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Facebook shopping makes sense. You’re on the site everyday anyway. You’re already tapped into the brands you like and they’re sending you coupons. So from there, it’s just a click away from actually making a purchase while still inside the walls.

It sounds reasonable, but when I visualize myself doing it, I can’t see it. I may be in the minority on that because Booz & Company predicts social commerce in the US will rise to $14 million in 2015.

eMarketer has a chart to show the growth.

The numbers include all social media, not just Facebook, but since they’re currently the king of the category, we can infer that they’re responsible for a large chunk.

Social and shopping do go together, going back to the days when young girls went to the mall as a group activity. (Do they still do that?) But it’s the mechanics of it all that has me perplexed.

If you’re selling single items, like a current CD on a band’s fan page or a ticket on a movie page, I get it. Selling when there’s a selection involved, I don’t get. I can’t imagine shopping for shoes or kids’ clothes or even groceries. I may follow the Hershey fan page but what are the chances I’ll click and buy a bag of Kisses while I’m on Facebook?

eMarketer quotes an Oracle survey that says one in five respondents would buy from Facebook. Around a third said “never.”

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I suppose I fall into the “would buy” category if the circumstances were right. If Facebook had its own payment system like Amazon, it would be more likely. I have $10 in my account, Hershey’s has cool holiday Kisses on sale. If all I have to do is push a button and it’s a done deal, I might buy them before I realize what I’ve done. But if I have to enter a credit card and fill out shipping forms, it’s not happening.

I’m sure that social commerce will continue to rise. It’s hitting people where they live and that makes good business sense. But I’m not sure that shopping on Facebook will be commonplace by 2015.

What do you think? Are you ready to do your holiday shopping on Facebook?

  • A chart that only includes one year of actual data reflects little more than the creator’s assumptions.

    Are we actually talking Hershey’s Kisses here, or are we talking primarily about virtual goods for online games? If it’s the former then the number seems overstated and, also, it’s difficult to see how it might help a company like Facebook generate revenue. Retailers aren’t going to give it 30% of each sale – and if Facebook tries to get that type of cut, customers will flock to cheaper sources of the same products.

  • carolperry

    The methods of saving have significantly changed over the past five years. More people are looking for their savings online Printapons, in their inbox, Facebook and Twitter.