Posted February 17, 2012 4:49 pm by with 2 comments

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Gamestop, Nordstrom, Old Navy, The Gap. All blockbuster retailers who know how to drive customers to spend big bucks and not one of them had success selling on Facebook.

The failure of F-commerce is an interesting conundrum. Facebook is the most visited site in the universe. People also spend money on Facebook to buy virtual items and upgrades for their games. Facebook is also growing faster than anyone else for display advertising, pulling in around $2 billion in revenue last year.

Taking all of those factors into consideration, Facebook stores should be pulling them in like Best Buy on Black Friday. So why don’t Facebook stores work?

Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research told Bloomberg,

“There was a lot of anticipation that Facebook would turn into a new destination, a store, a place where people would shop. But it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, which is why I went with the quote.

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Add to that, the fact that Facebook stores aren’t offering consumers anything they can’t find more easily on the retailers website. The convenience of staying on Facebook isn’t enough to combat the navigational issues, lack of full store content and potential security issues.

Plus, with Facebook’s tendency to make everything you do public, it’s no wonder people are leery about buying through the site. I can see George now, trying to explain to his wife why she got a notification saying he just bought a red negligee.

As it stands, most retailers have returned to using their pages to promote new items, sales and simply to keep their name in front of their customers. But that doesn’t mean the idea of F-commerce is dead. The new Timeslines for brands could offer all new opportunities for onsite selling.

This is the internet — someone is going to find a way to make it work.

  • There’s no doubt that F-commerce is the next step in the eCommerce evolution.
    Like in any evolution it takes time! and you need to be
    equipped with the right tools, the right engagement tools, that provides your fans with an added value to shop in your Facebook page.

  • Lauren G

    I am studying Social Media Theory & Practice with @dr4ward at @NewhouseSU, and I subscribe to to this blog. I find it very interesting that F-commerce has been so unsuccessful, but I think that the nature of the facebook environment is not ideal for selling products. Conversation about products might occur but people are not looking to use the platform for purchases. #NewhouseSM4