Humans, by nature, are social creatures. We thrive on personal connections and small-talk. We enjoy the company of others. So, what lessons from human nature can we apply to the emerging Facebook Commerce “F-Commerce” market? To me, they’re clear. But, I’ll let you decide for yourself.
Before I get into it, though, I want to thank Marsha Collier for pointing out a blog post by Hugh Briss, which explains the recent (andsubtle) changes to the standard Facebook page layout. The post jump-started my thinking about the inherent “social” nature of Facebook and, in turn, what users (or potential users) of Fanpage Toolkit can learn from these changes.
What value does Fanpage Toolkit’s service provide by brining traditional e-commerce store fronts into the Facebook ecosystem? Though the change that Hugh pointed out is a very subtle shift, its implications for F-commerce and Social Commerce are huge, impacting a core component of the technology: the “social” component.
So what is this subtle change that I believe speaks volumes about the value of bringing commerce to Facebook pages? A slight shift left in alignment of Facebook pages.
With this small shift in page alignment, Facebook has made room for the “news ticker” and full friends chat list, both of which are extremely dynamic and social elements of Facebook’s environment. It is this shift that really has me excited for the potential of F-commerce and for what Fanpage Toolkit offers its users.
Think about traditional online shopping (e-commerce) on retail sites like Gap or Piperlime. While these sites may offer a “social” experience by offering Facebook “Like” buttons or Twitter sharing, are your closest friends available on these sites, ready to chat or comment with the click of a button?
No. On Facebook, they are more than ready and willing to chat, “sitting” right next to you in the chat interface.
In fact, in 2009, over 1 billion chat messages were sent per day on Facebook’s proprietary messaging system. That’s a lot of socializing. As a natural extension of our social circles, Facebook’s power lies in its ability to provide a sense of “connection” by facilitating conversation between friends and family. So, we should ask ourselves why the typical teenage group hangout is usually a local shopping mall or popular store. Why do people enjoy shopping together? It is clear that the social nature and connections formed by gossiping, shopping, and experiencing products together make the activity better for everyone involved.
Now, of course, Facebook cannot completely recreate the personal, human interactions that a group trip to the mall can. But chat, video calling, and other sharing options come close to making interactions on Facebook as human as possible. So with this in mind, why would any internet retailer opt to limit their customers’ “social experience?” With F-commerce, and Fanpage Toolkit’s integrated store fronts, we become one step closer to simulating the commercial experience so many people value in real life.
Imagine the social shopping experience an F-Commerce solution like Fanpage Toolkit can provide, combined with Facebook’s subtle shift in layout. While browsing products on a brand’s Facebook store, users are able to see real-time updates and “likes” from their friends on the opposite side of the page. And more importantly, they are able to chat. Removing any feeling of isolation, and providing a sense of community, Facebook’s chat function, combined with in-Facebook store transactions powered by Fanpage Toolkit, provides a unique social commerce experience.
As more users begin to experience a truly social commerce experience, F-Commerce will gain undeniable traction. Every traditional E-commerce website will soon have an F-commerce counterpart, and will be driving social connections in ways traditional websites could only dream of.
So, the last question is, are you going to “get social” with your commerce solution? Or are you going to keep your customers in isolation, with just their cart and a handful of items? We hope you get more social with F-Commerce!
Original post by: Fanpage Toolkit