Magazine article CRM Magazine

Take Your Facebook Page to the Next Level with F-Commerce: It's Time to Transform Those "Likes" into Sales

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Take Your Facebook Page to the Next Level with F-Commerce: It's Time to Transform Those "Likes" into Sales

Article excerpt

The days when companies could afford to ignore Facebook are over. It has become the norm for businesses, small and large alike, to invest resources in building a presence on the social network to engage with fans and customers. The next step is converting all those "likes" into solid revenue.

In her new book, Like My Stuff, Natalie Petouhoff, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of marketing and public relations at the University of Southern California and a former Forrester Research analyst, explains how brands can use social commerce on Facebook (f-commerce) to increase sales and promotion. Associate Editor Judith Aquino spoke with Petouhoff about what companies need to know about f-commerce.

CRM: How does f-commerce work and why should businesses consider using it?

Natalie Petouhoff: When customers like something on Facebook, they can click on a buy button that takes them to your brand's main e-commerce site, or they can do the whole transaction, including entering their payment information, on Facebook. Companies like Delta, Land's End, and 1-800 Flowers already accept credit card info on their Facebook pages.

There are a couple different ways to set up a storefront on Facebook. A brand can use iframes [Web coding that lets users display content] or a Facebook app. In my book I've included descriptions of several vendors, such as 8thBridge and Big-Commerce, that can help you implement your app. These vendors will help you populate your store or put what's on your e-commerce store into Facebook.

A brand needs to be where its customers are. When I was writing this book, Facebook had about 750 million users, and now it's up to 800 million users. Many people on Facebook are already following brands for coupons and deals, and it can make sense for those companies to allow customers to also do their shopping on Facebook.

CRM: What are the immediate and long-term benefits of f-commerce?

Petouhoff: We know that people are spending more time on Facebook, which can lead to social network fatigue, and they may not want to go to other sites or URLs. F-commerce makes it easy for people to shop without having to leave your Facebook page.

[In terms of long-term benefits] Facebook could be the first true social CRM system. …

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