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Is Facebook Going to Change the Face of E-Commerce?

App Maker Talks Facebook Product Listings

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Over the years, Facebook has grown into much more than a social network, including a place to shop. More and more brands are placing product listings on their Facebook Pages, a phenomenon, we’ve discussed more than once within the last week or so.

Is Facebook going to change the face of e-commerce? Share your thoughts here.

WebPronews had a chat with Doron Simovitch, co-Founder, President, and CEO of comparison shopping site Sortprice, which has a Facebook application for product listings that recently surpassed a 1,000 stores.

We asked if it is an exaggeration to say Facebook is going to change the face of e-commerce. "We don’t think it’s an exaggeration at all," replied Simovitch. "Facebook is now the most-trafficked website in the country, with an audience of hundreds of millions of people that is growing every day.  That’s an enormous base of potential customers that cannot be ignored by online retailers.  And they’re not.  More and more retailers are experimenting with tools to reach these Facebook users, and incorporate social networking into their operations overall."

Doron Simovitch - CEO of Sortprice, which offers a Facebook e-commerce app for product listings"As online shopping continues to gain popularity, social networking sites will increasingly be brought into the fold," he added. "This integration, then, is definitely something that is going to change how e-tailers do business."

More e-commerce platform vendors are no doubt going to begin offering Facebook apps, making the space more and more competitive. "We were pretty much the only game in town when we rolled out our merchant application in late 2008, but since then we’ve seen others follow suit with similar tools," said Simovtich. "For the same reasons we stated above, vendors recognize there is great potential in selling on Facebook and other social networking sites. Plus Facebook is pretty receptive to new applications that are of value to its users."

"We expect more product listing applications to emerge and continue to evolve with new features and tools," he continued. "Our team at Sortprice is always thinking of ways to upgrade and improve the Merchant Store application because we want it to remain the best retailer application on Facebook. But overall, as more people realize the e-commerce potential that Facebook offers, the more tools and applications you’ll see emerge for both shoppers and merchants."

We’ve seen that customers are starting to get more comfortable making purchases from their mobile devices. We wonder if customers will be as quick to find comfort in making transactions through Facebook. A retailer operating a store on Facebook via Sortprice’s app is providing product listings that are tied to their own site, as is the case with other e-commerce Facebook apps. Still, Facebook has shown that consumers can buy physical goods through the social network with its virtual currency, which could become more commonplace in the future, particularly as major players compete to dominate the mobile payment platform space.

We also wonder if Facebook’s enormous popularity, and the e-commerce potential that comes along with it has the ability to threaten search engines as the preferred way to find products to purchase.

"As more people learn about shopping opportunities on Facebook, the more they’ll start to look at it as a viable means of shopping online," Simovitch said. "That being said however, no one will ever confuse Facebook for a shopping-only resource and thus, it’s not a threat to shopping search engines."

Perhaps it will help Facebook continue to boost its share of the search market.

"We think of it more as an alternative or even something retailers can use in conjunction with their existing shopping portals," he said. "The interactive nature of Facebook is what makes it such a good complimentary tool for retailers—they can offer users the ability to build product wishlists that their Facebook friends can comment on, as well as give shoppers access to product reviews and images.  Some of our merchants have run contests or giveaways through their Facebook fan/store pages as well.  It really enhances the research side of shopping online in a constructive and even fun way."

Last week, we talked to Mitchell Harper, CEO of BigCommerce, which just launched another Facebook e-commerce app called SocialShop. Have you tried either of these products or other similar apps? Which do you prefer? Is listing products on Facebook worth your time? Tell us what you think.

Is Facebook Going to Change the Face of E-Commerce?
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  • Jackson

    I concur that the popularity of social media such as Twitter and Facebook has provided retailers with a rare opportunity to drive higher conversions as well as improving buying experience for customers. HOWEVER, it is only the beginning to a true social shopping experience.

    Jackson
    Onewayshopping.com

    • Guest

      Vendors can read the buzz re: their product etc., on Social networking sites and re-engineer accordingly. I see it as more of a listening tool for them to self-improve.

  • Michelle

    I have seen some big retailers use the Facebook store application by Sortprice. I think it’s an amazing breakthrough, it looks like shopping 2.0 is here and facebook may have a new ecommerce platform.

  • http://www.superfloorcoat.com Concrete Floor Coatings

    Using Facebook to get in front of eyeballs is good, has lots of traffic.
    Whether you’re selling epoxy paint or carpets you can’t ignore facebook.

    • Guest

      You also cant seem to ignore putting you cheesy advertising on posts. Facebook CAN and will be ignored when it comes to advertising.!

  • http://www.maturedatingonline.org Paul Fald

    Facebook is about social interaction, the number of annoying ads, pop-ups, etc is an irritant to many users, the traffic on the site might be out of this world but that doesn’t mean it is an e-commerce opportunity made in heaven!

  • http://www.internetandsearchmarketing.com David Price

    It doesn’t surprise me as Facebook is slowly trying to monetize their site to the best of their ability. I do look at this is a win for online retailers. This should provide a good steady way to tap into the giant social network.

    I only wonder about trust, will the overall view of the commerce app change if “Bad Apples” roll in the door. Either way, I think retailers should be taking advantage of this.

  • http://www.apexrg.com Richard

    We have added a facebook and myspace and twitter page, and began linking those to our store as well as using the social sites for announcements. I think that over time the value of mobile devices and the value of the social sites traffic is something that cannot be ignored

    Richard
    apexrg.com

  • http://www.adesiyan.com/web Guest

    Facebook is currently reaching places that were not reachable before. With facebook, buyers can be targeted even in remote areas. Facebook makes it possible for sellers to interact with buyers in realtime and in not intrussive way. It provide a social and informal way to attract genuine customers.

  • http://myalmanac.blog.ca/ R. Hiebert

    If e-commerce includes trolling for prospects and promoting a product or image, then I would agree. On the other hand, FB in my opinion, is or can be a marketing tool more than an e-commerce phenomenon. When my friends and family what keep contact with activities that we share in common, I’m not sure that it’s focused, driven or motivated by e-commerce.
    Naturally I or anybody in my FB environment can use my information or others to satisfy their curiosity by checking links or I can follow with an inquiry if the topic warrants a response.

  • http://www.soundclick.com/spudmartinsample Spud Martin

    Facebook is the most addictive networking phenomenon I’ve ever experience and growing by leaps and bounds and no longer can be ignored in marketing.

  • http://watchthefilmnow.com Linda

    We were dumb enough to try this two months ago. We contracted with FB to put in an ad, ordered it as PPC NOT PPM, set daily maximums, set Price per click, and determined the time to run. WIthin 48 hours they had violated every term limit we set. We were unable to get in to stop it for a time. When we finally did, we got the CC bill and tried to call them. Their ONLY contact was a recording stating to leave a message if you disputed a charge. DUH. Must happen a LOT. We disputed it with our credit card company and FB unilaterally cancelled our account. They REFUSE to reply to any of our messages. This has been one horrendous experience. I wouldn’t trust them with a single penny of mine in the future. Am filing a complaint with their State Attorney General’s office. Advertise with FB at your peril – I learned a terrible lesson here. Every word I have stated is the truth.

    • K.J.Haroon Basha

      Thank you very much for narrating the true incident. Dont leave them, sue them to the maximum extent. They are trying to fool everybody who trust them. I wish you all the best.

  • http://www.simple-elegant-websites.com Oiseaux

    Having read so much about Facebook and how it’s the next best thing since sliced bread I decided to give it a go. Admittedly it was a modest dip but a dip none the less. In 1 month I had 2 visits. When I spoke to my daughter about her experiences of seeing products / services adverts on Facebook she said “what adverts” I didn’t realise there were any !!

  • http://www.hotbounce.com Dan

    Gooooooodmorning Vietnam!

    Wake UP!

    Articles and then comments are the best ways to advertise!

    Dan
    hotbounce.com

    • Guest

      Wow I hope not. Sounds like a fast way to screw up a site about socializing with friends.

      • http://www.hotbounce.com Dan

        I wanted you right there! Mr. Pancake Turner :)

        Facebook is a site based on friendship, isn’t it?

        So, tell me. What about socializing with friends in its pure friendship form have to do with commerce?

        Multi level marketing it is also friendship based! Do you think is cool?

        The only thing that can screw up a socializing site it is to fill it up with boxy advertisement that

        looks like a suggestion made by you, the Facebook user.

    • http://www.tuklu.com Tuklu

      @might be, lets see how much traffic this post drives to our recently launched site. Apart from that, we plan to launch a FB app too in the near future…

  • gulab khimnani

    it is a good site and it will do good buisness.

  • katie

    I recently published my site. The first thing I did was build a Fan page on my Face Book account and sent it to all my contacts, who became fans, added it to their pages and so on. It is absolutely driving traffic to my site !!!! Now would I pay to advertise on FB ??? NO WAY! Their PPC prices are ridiculious ! They are not the advertising venue they think they are. Not yet anyway.

  • K.J.Haroon Basha

    Social networking websites, like Facebooks are producing a lot of lazy people these days. These youngsters spend a lot of their precious time on these websites, in return what they gain? NOTHING. Instead gaining knowledge, they were prune to filthy habits and nasty ideas in their mind. 95% of Facebook users have filthy thoughts in their minds, they are chasing for sexual lusts. The business community should not support Facebook. They should not place any advertisement on this website.

  • Ryan Kempf

    While shopping online maybe faster and easier it doesn’t support the local economy and supporting the local economy is the very thing we need isn’t it? E-Commerce is a GREAT thing but only for convenience sake and to find specialty items that you can’t find in a regular brick and mortar store so before we get too excited we must remember while its convenient is it the most practical as far as the local economy in each state because E-Commerce doesn’t support the local economies think about that

  • http://swuhealthy.com Ariyadi Arnas

    I accede that the acceptance of amusing media such as Twitter and Facebook has provided retailers with a attenuate befalling to drive college conversions as able-bodied as convalescent affairs acquaintance for customers. it is alone the alpha to a accurate amusing arcade experience.

    • Jack

      your a moron – stop trying to sound smart and write in real english

  • http://www.secretsoftheinternet.co.uk/ Guest

    With Facebook overtaking Google as most popular website recently it is sure to change ecommerce. Companies are using Facebook to sell and customers are signing up to follow them. Facebook will provide an immediate way for companies and indivuduals to sell.

    Facebook and Twitter allow companies to send offers instantly promoting offers and links. They will use them.

  • http://www.studentdebtsrelief.com/blog Dan

    I think its a silly comment to make about facebook even being considered a decent advertising model, in comparison to say… An actual search engine. Facebook IS NOT a search engine, they are a social structure. Never have I clicked on an ad on facebook and probebly never will. That’s not the frame of mind I’m in when on facebook.

    However, when I go on a search engine, my frame of mind is obvious and receptive to being shown ads related to what Im looking for.

    I get tired of hearing how profitable a company online can be or will be, since they get sooo much trafic on their site since traffic hardly equalls sales.

    I could care less if they have so much traffic that its comming from mars and pluto. I can get traffic, I just have a harder time getting sales.

    In conclusion… Facebook is a poor advertising model. If they desire so badly to sell advertising, then they should become a search engine and start indexing 10 or 20 billion pages of content.

  • http://marketing.howtoadvicetips.com infoperc

    … and they’ve done it in the only durable and ever-exceeding manner — an unique valuable approach. Now, I usually wouldn’t bother commenting, but just watch, however I respect Chris a lot so I though I’d swing by and drop a jewel.

    Everyone, please recognize the possibilities which has the internet in general presented, and how in order to be really BIG, you have to be like noone before you; a new category – as the classic marketing term goes!

    In that aspect: facebook can and should not touch google’s rep because they can’t compare. One emphasizes on the social activities, and has members while the other tries to deliver relevant information to non-dedicated visitors. Only a complete ignorent imbacil would go about marketing on facebook with the same tactics as they would on google. Yes there will be some overlaps, after all — it’s information we’re all pushing. However, here’s a nice way to always be focused on the priorites: Just ask yourself “what sort of audience is the vendor trying to please? What would please them really? aand you can be sure the particular vendor (google/facebook/apple) would act or at least try to act accordingly.

  • http://www.ebizroi.com Rick Noel – eBizROI.com

    Facebook advertising may not be liked, but once you accept that its a membership is free and Facebook operates on an ad supported model, then users can choose to stop using the service if they don’t like to see the ads. You can imagine that it costs a lot to serve the 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week. From an advertisers perspective, Facebook won’t be a good advertising option for every business, especially B2B advertisers who may fair better on LinkedIn or sites like WSJ.com with a business focus. To say that Facebook hasn’t or wont’ continue to have a major impact on e-commerce is like saying MySpace didn’t have an impact on e-Commerce over the past few years. Those in the industry would laugh as they know that MySpace, was probably part of every national direct response campaign. Whether or not its good or bad is a matter of opinion, but unrelated to impact.

  • http://www.searchsquad.com.au Mark – Search Squad

    Facebook is a great place to advertise. Clicks are cheap, impressions are cheap. CTR and targeting accuracy are low, but clicks are cheap.
    Product pages are handy and a good way to bring attention to your product with your friends. For established products it’s a good way to keep people thinking about your product.
    That said, I don’t think people are going to start buying Coke or Skittles online. Facebook is a great branding tool, an excellent PR strategy and it’s even probably necessary to have in your marketing strategy but it hasn’t really CHANGED anything, it’s merely provided another option (and a good one) for getting the word out.

  • http://serpeoseo.wordpress.com Philadelphia Wesite Design

    I think that Facebook will continue to grow and to be trusted as it is the make-up of this social network that makes people comfortable. Many have been reluctant to enter their personal information online and especially their credit card numbers. In searching through traditional means, results have been skewed by the endeavors of SEO’s working to achieve high SERP rankings.

    Facebook represents a more natural from of commerce where real people can remark and recommend products and services in real time. Facebook members can actually discuss their concerns prior to purchase with unbiased members. Facebook will continue to grow and will take a good piece of the search engine market’s advertising dollars. There is no stopping this force.

  • http://serpeoseo.wordpress.com Philadelphia Website Design

    The integration of the retail application for Facebook is a brilliant move. A one-stop shop doorway to the internet can be envisioned for those that want to check out a company or product with friends prior to purchase. Prices can also be discussed and real and unbridled capitalism in the form of e-commerce will grow to enormous size if it is managed properly.

    The popularity of Facebook enables lateral growth and if the company has strong management and carefully implements its own brand of competitive retail marketing, we may see something much bigger than ever dreamed in retail sales on the internet. Facebook works because it is real and people will buy from trusted companies. If a company develops a good reputation on Facebook, it will grow and attract referral business like never seen before in human history.

  • Thomas

    Targeted traffic = money to be made. Facebook is the perfect place regardless if you use their PPC network or a Facebook store app

  • https://shop.hypemuscle.com Canada Bodybuilding Supplements

    I think FB is a great tool for marketing your brand. But FB is a social tool, peoples mindset when they log onto FB is not to purchase something as oppose when they use a SE, they are searching for something specific and more likely to make a purchase.

    • http://www.gaybooksfetish.com Phil Lesbirel

      FaceBook is an information site, and therefore will become an excelent E-Commerce site of the future. Many stores use FaceBook now as a method of contacting loyal customers with information on new products and specials. I have a site for gay authors where my E-Book site is the driving force, allowing gay authors a product to show their wares. So why should not other outlets use FaceBook to do the same.

      Phil Lesbirel

  • Chris 54

    The more commercial facebook gets, the less value it will have to those who just want to stay in touch with others.

  • Ernie

    Setting up on Facebook with a fan page and the Facebook store app was probably what saved my business from this recession. Any retailer who has not embraced social media yet will fall behind.