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?