Small businesses are getting more and more opportunities to get some real use out of Facebook. For example, AT&T's Buzz.com has created a way for brick and mortars to get some positive recommendations through Facebook users' news feeds. In an article I wrote earlier, we talked about some e-commerce options that have become available for businesses to sell products through their Facebook pages. One of these was the newly launched SocialShop from e-commerce software provider BigCommerce.
WebProNews briefly picked BigCommerce CEO Mitchell Harper's brain about the potential for abuse from businesses with the product, and the inevitable increase in competition for e-commerce platform providers offering Facebook apps.
In the previous article, I raised the point that if companies get too carried away with their product updates on Facebook, they may annoy their fans, much like other Facebook app (like Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc.) updates do for Facebook users who don't use those apps.
"We anticipate that much of the product sharing will occur from customers posting products to their feeds rather than the businesses," Harper tells us. "However, the great thing about Facebook is that companies get immediate feedback when they're overdoing it with promotional posting on feeds: 'spamming' the feed with products will likely result in lost fans, so these companies would hopefully change their approach."
It's hard to imagine that small businesses won't be leaping at the opportunity to get their products listed right on their Facebook pages, and we will almost certainly see more and more offerings that enable this coming out in the future. We asked BigCommerce how it intends to stand out from the crowd.
"We do think that savvy e-commerce platforms will want to add Facebook integration to their products," says Harper. "SocialShop stands out because of its ease-of-use and complete integration into the BigCommerce shopping cart experience. Since SocialShop is really an extension of a company's e-commerce site (and not a standalone e-commerce app), we think SocialShop will enhance the already robust marketing capabilities of BigCommerce, which are big differentiators for our platform."
BigCommerce currently has about 3,000 businesses as customers. It would not be surprising to see that number increase a great deal as a result of its SocialShop Facebook app offering.