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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 20, 2015

Will the F in F-commerce stand for 'fail'?

Facebook's first foray into ecommerce failed, but the social network is back in the fray again and allowing some businesses to sell products from their Facebook Pages.

by Helen Leggatt

Facebook is again attempting to make the social environment a valuable presence for businesses, and a convenient and useful resource for its users, with a new 'shops' feature that will allow users to purchase items directly from a business's Page without being redirected to a different website.

Facebook product manager, Emma Rodgers, told Tech-Portal that the social network is "at the early stages of testing a new Shop section on Pages that allows businesses to visually showcase their products".

This isn't Facebook's first foray into F-commerce. In 2011, with over 3.5 million Facebook Fans, Gamestop opened up a store on Facebook only to shut it down six months later. Other big brands soon followed including Gap, J C Penney and Nordstrom.

The reason for its failure, it would seem, is that while consumers are happy to Like and recommend brands and companies on Facebook, and include the social network in their path to purchase, they don't see it as the place to actually make those purchases. Most consumers already find what they want easy to purchase online direct from websites.

"There was a lot of anticipation that Facebook would turn into a new destination, a store, a place where people would shop," says Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpur, via Bloomberg. "But it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they're hanging out with their friends at the bar."

Things have certainly moved on since 2011, with mobile at the fore, along with Facebook's other features including peer-to-peer payments via the network and brand messaging, but it remains to be seen whether the F in F-commerce will once again stand for 'Fail'.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: business, ecommerce, f-commerce, Facebook, social

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