What does the future hold for f-commerce?
Yesterday afternoon, I had serious WTF moment as I read an article titled “Facebook has limited future in e-commerce”.
The basis of the piece was more of a news-feature than opinion, founded around a piece of research from Shoppercentric. I really feel that the conclusions that have been drawn seem to be fairly short-sighted.
My first point is that although a thousand consumers were assessed, it’s UK-based. This is a horribly important fact that seems to have been somewhat overlooked.
Looking at Facebook’s overall demographics, the US user-base is more than five times greater than the UK. It’s a matter of size and scale and, as a general rule, this is why the USA is, more often than not, the canary in the coal mine for the digital industry. When it comes to f-commerce, this is no exception.
Here’s some killer examples of brands selling on Facebook.
See my point? Pretty much all of them are USA access-only, likely because with a larger captive audience, there’s more room for brands to experiment in order to find out what works: An important part of retailing, online and offline.
So, moving this back across the pond, to the UK. We all heard the news a few weeks ago that ASOS and French Connection are upping their f-commerce activities and it’s more than likely that this will set the benchmark for a lot of retailers in the fashion sector. And that’s just one industry.
As in the examples I’ve given, most things can be sold online. Facebook is just a platform extension to e-commerce, limited only by their internal regulations for commercial brands.
Looking forward, the news that Facebook is scrapping FBML in a few weeks time, to replace it with iFrames means that the floodgates will be opened to online retailers.
This move to iFrames means three key things for commercial Facebook pages: Better design, better tracking and better selling functionality.