Putting the #FAIL in F-Commerce

I’ve heard a lot of vendor pitches over the last three years, and many of them came from companies who promised to monetize our Facebook audience via a native storefront on a tab in our fan page. And every time I was pitched by such vendors, I told them I wasn’t interested. I told them people weren’t ready to punch their credit cards into Facebook, and that people don’t spend any time on our Facebook page anyway (which is another blog post altogether).

These vendors still send me emails every now and again, but at this point, enough time has passed that brands who were sucked in by the promise (and challenge) of monetizing Facebook to seek out ROI have already found out it doesn’t work. This article in Bloomberg basically says I’m right; it talks about how big brands like The Gap shuttered their Facebook stores almost as quickly as they opened them thanks to underperformance.

Bottom line? People don’t go to Facebook to shop. They might follow News Feed links back to your own website store, but they don’t want to do it inside the Big Blue Walls of Facebook.

On the scale from skeptical to optimistic, I often lean heavily toward skepticism, and in most cases it’s saved me a lot of time with the never ending stream of vendors trying to get rich in the social media gold rush. Very few vendors have been able to get my attention, and those who have typically have a very real product that solves an actual problem.

F-Commerce may sound good to people who don’t truly understand how Facebook works, but if you’ve taken the time to run a fan page and take a peak at Facebook Insights, you’ve probably already drawn the same conclusion.

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