Facebook shopping is still in its infancy, with roughly 1.5 million out of 850 million members making a purchase directly through the site each month, and the overwhelming majority who do so are women.
Christian Taylor, CEO and co-founder of Silicon Valley startup Payvment, the biggest commerce platform on Facebook, states that most if its customers are stay-at-home moms who buy "cute things" for their kids. Taylor ads, “The majority of people shopping on Facebook are women and most of them are stay-at-home mums. The most popular items bought on Facebook are by far baby clothes and little things like bows for children’s hair." Payvment allows users to power their e-shop, create a shop front and be part of a virtual shopping mall.
Payvment processes 80% of all Facebook commerce, and Taylor goes on to explain, “I think Facebook has created an outlet for mothers to talk to other mums about what to buy for their children and share parenting tips. I imagine being a stay-at-home parent was an incredibly lonely job before social networks. The people shopping on Facebook are an incredibly similar crowd to those who play social games, such as Farmville.”
Taylor also points out that when men actually do shop on Facebook, they mostly buy cause-based t-shirts, like those that would raise money for a charity. Payvment transactions are growing by 20% each month, and the company handles over 3 million items for sale via Facebook. Small to medium businesses make up the majority of the vendors, and Paypal is used to transfer payments, though Taylor expects that Facebook credits will eventually be used - the same system utilized for Facebook games. Presently, Facebook takes a 30% cut of all games sold on its site. Taylor states that this percentage won't be anywhere near as high when it comes to vendors.
Facebook is a natural environment for social proofing, and e-commerce directly through the social networking giant will likely continue to grow at a rapid pace.