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Facebook for Shopping?

Facebook for Shopping?

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

This post is for all the entrepreneurs and small biz owners who constantly tell me that the best (only) way to reach a large audience and move product is via Facebook.

It hasn’t been for many companies, such as Gamestop, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, 1-800-FLOWERS, Delta Air Lines, Diane Von Furstenberg Studio and Seven for all Mankind.

Even Gap, which, together with its Banana Republic and Old Navy divisions, has 5.6 million Facebook fans, stopped selling on Facebook.

These are companies with abundant talent and dollars to invest in selling online, but they are opting not to do it on Facebook.

For young companies and small biz there is a major lesson here.

“It was basically just another place to shop for all the stuff already available on the retailer websites. I give so-called F-commerce an ‘F.’” –Wade Gerten, chief executive officer of social media developer 8thBridge

If there is one lesson that should have come down from the dot com era it is that visitors don’t necessarily translate to buyers.

This isn’t surprising if you look at people’s actions in the real world.3281766256_9f2225331b_m

People of all ages spend time at the mall whether to eat, hang out with friends or for indoor recreation in bad weather, but that doesn’t mean they shop and even if they shop it doesn’t mean they buy.

This isn’t to say that you can’t build a store on Facebook and make it a success, but you need to think about whether that is the best use of your resources.

Before committing a large portion, let alone all, of your resources to build on the Facebook platform you should consider two inescapable facts.

  1. People do hang out with friends on Facebook, but it is to socialize, rather than shop; and
  2. you have no control on policies, such as privacy and information sharing, that garnering more and more attention from even casual users.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore Facebook and other social media sites, rather that you recognize them as great places to build your brand as opposed to selling your products.

Flickr image credit: The-Nancy-Minor-Team

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