80 Percent of Internet Users Purchased from a Facebook Store

As an advocate of Social Shopping and f-Commerce, it is always a little disturbing to read misquoted articles that contain statistics which mean absolutely nothing.  It is even more disturbing when the headlines of such articles are actually detrimental to the f-Commerce industry.

The headline in question “More than half of shoppers don’t trust Facebook”, published recently on Internet Retailer.  Now that’s a pretty big claim.  At a first glance it would be easy to assume that thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of people were asked about their concerns regarding the ‘shopping on Facebook’ phenomena.  After all, in full throws of the holiday season, there would be a lot more people around to answer such a question.

However, reading further into the article which was published on December 27th, it becomes apparent that the survey concluding that “More than half of shoppers don’t trust Facebook” was actually conducted almost five months ago, back in August.  The number of shoppers who had responded to the survey was a staggering 722.  Yes, that’s right, 722.  722 people of which 382 people stated a ‘distrust in Facebook shopping’ in August 2011 provoked the headline in December 2011 “More than half of shoppers don’t trust Facebook”.

The original survey which was conducted by ThreatMetrix, an online fraud prevention company gives no details of demographic details or geographic location of the 722 participants.  After reading this I asked five friends if they had ever bought from a Facebook store.  I found out that four of my friends had indeed bought from a store on Facebook.  I quickly concluded, based on the above research principals that 80% of polled Internet Users have purchased from a Facebook store.

On a final note, the article published on Internet Retailer quoted a Mr Alisdair Faulkner, Chief Products Officer at ThreatMetrix.  Mr Faulkner stated “With new account registration, you have [criminals] who will sign up with social networking sites like Facebook in order to gain access to current user information”.  On behalf of CommerceOnFacebook.Com I would like to offer a reward to anyone who actually understands this comment and can explain the relevance of such an absurd quote.  Apart from being a totally random comment, what is the connection between this comment and Facebook stores?  Admittedly anyone can setup a false profile on Facebook and add people as friends.  Depending on security settings would determine which personal information can be viewed by connections and non-connections.  But surely this has absolutely nothing to do with f-Commerce?

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VendorShop and Planet Payment Join Forces to Launch Free Multi-Currency Shopping Cart for Facebook Stores

VendorShop, a leading provider of shopping cart applications for Facebook and Planet Payment, Inc. a leading provider of international and multi-currency payment processing services, today announced the integration of VendorShop’s Facebook shopping cart application with Planet Payment’s iPAY multi-currency eCommerce gateway.

This innovative Social Commerce solution (www.facebook.com/PlanetPayment) empowers merchants to sell to a global market of over 800 million Facebook subscribers, enabling retailers to convert their “static” Facebook presence into a new sales channel for their business. With this solution, Facebook merchants can now accept credit cards through any participating acquirer integrated into Planet Payment’s international transaction platform.

VendorShop provides a solution for businesses to drive direct revenue from their Facebook presence – enabling anyone with a Facebook page to add a free shop and to sell their products and services without customers having to leave the Facebook environment.  “Most companies already have Facebook pages, but if a customer wants to buy an item they get referred back to the company website,” stated Chris Small, CEO and Founder of VendorShop.  “Facebook users already spend a huge amount of time on Facebook with more than 50% ‘liking’ a business page to find out about sales and promotions.  So if I’m going to tell you about a product on my Facebook page, it makes sense to make it easy to buy right there. Redirecting customers off Facebook adds additional steps to the process and potentially increases the likelihood a merchant will lose the sale – so keeping the shopping experience contained solely within Facebook is very important.”

For the merchant, VendorShop is simple to set-up and configure products and pricing and there are a number of tools to integrate with existing systems. There are also a number of social features such as ‘fan pricing’ and ‘incentivized sharing’ to enable businesses to enhance the Facebook experience, grow fans and drive sales.  “Creating a unique shopping experience and rewarding your fans for being fans gives a real reason to buy, but also turns them into even more powerful advocates for your business. As a result you not only create a new Facebook sales channel, but you can enhance sales via a new viral consumer channel too” stated Small.

As a result of the partnership and integration with Planet Payment’s iPAY Gateway, VendorShop customers now have access to Planet Payment’s PCI compliant, end-to-end processing solutions for eCommerce, call center, mail-order and telephone order merchants. The VendorShop solution has also been enhanced to include support for Planet Payment’s Multi-Currency Pricing functionality, providing Facebook merchants with the ability to more effectively target international markets by allowing their customers to ship, view pricing and pay in the  in their home currencies, while continuing to receive payments and reporting in their own native currency.

Aviesta.com, an online private sale community serving members in the US and Latin America recently launched their social commerce site (http://www.facebook.com/VivaAviesta) on Facebook utilizing Planet Payment’s solution.  “We wanted tap into the Facebook phenomenon to help grow sales,” said Brett Posten, Chief Creative Officer of Aviesta.com.  “With more than 800 million users and over 50 percent of who log-on at least once per day, Facebook social commerce was a top priority for us.  In addition, we needed a solution that would provide us with multi-currency options and one that would be easy to setup and maintain – Planet Payment’s solution fit the bill.”

“Planet Payment provides value-added products/services to help merchants sell more and expand their business globally,” stated Scott Goldthwaite, senior vice president of product management and marketing.  “Social media enables businesses to make a deeper connection with their customers and Facebook has the potential to become the biggest marketplace in the world, representing a significant opportunity for businesses to create a new revenue stream by enabling their fans to buy products directly from their Facebook page.   VendorShop’s expertise in Social Commerce and shared commitment to helping businesses sell on Facebook has made this an ideal partnership.”

 

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The Formula for Successful Social Commerce

With less than three shopping days to go until Christmas, retailers are starting to notice an increase in shoppers coming from either Facebook based catalog sites or deals promoted within Facebook branded pages.

Social shoppers have already become savvy on fan only, exclusive discounts.  According to a recent comScore consumers have already spent $30.9 billion in online purchases so far, this holiday season.

Without a doubt the contributing factors in the rise of online buying are convenience, 24/7 accessibility, less time consuming at the point of purchase, no queuing for the best deals and in most cases, free shipping.

Well known stores such as J C Penney, Kohls and Macys have all utilized their Facebook presence to increase their online sales this year.

In our opinion this is just the start of brands beginning to really benefit from their of use social media around holiday times in order to heighten their brand visibility.   As we’ve said before there are three crucial elements.   Those elements are engagement, interaction and a captivating offer.  The true formula behind successful social commerce.

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