There is no way you haven’t heard about social commerce lately. Everyone is going nuts for it, especially Facebook-specific shopping, or F-commerce. You might be wondering what makes Facebook such a specific target of this phenomenon, and it is simple: It’s prepared for it better than perhaps any other social media site.
Because Mark Zuckerberg saw the potential for this new wave of commerce early on, he aimed to make the new Timeline more accessible and useable for businesses looking to connect with consumers. This personalized means of selling to a target base is an efficient means of building profits while showing the data of the user for demographic information. Just think of the marketing possibilities!
Not every company manages to do this effectively, however. As with all new technologies, it is taking some trial and error to get it right. Below are the five most common mistakes people make with F-commerce.
1. Social Does not Mean Unprofessional
It is possible to be personable and professional at the same time. Companies have been doing so in customer relations for years, and it isn’t any different in social networking. But many companies fail to realize the difference between being “social” and being “offensive” or just too familiar. When you are using Facebook for direct selling, this becomes an even more risky venture, and if you have the wrong people running your social media site, you could end up with a PR disaster really quick. Make sure you know the line between what is and is not acceptable and never forget that while it is Facebook, it is also the storefront for your business.
2. F-Commerce Is Pointless Without Customer Service
For some reason, there are a lot of F-commerce points that miss the need for better customer service. You are on a social site, which puts you in direct contact with consumers. Your customer base is right at your fingertips, and their experience dictates what they do, say and buy. If you don’t provide adequate customer service when you have such a viable platform, people will lose faith in your product. Keep up with Wall posts and private messages from customers as well as providing a tab for communication directly through a tab at your store profile.
3. Product Details Are Important
Don’t assume people know what you do or what you sell. Even if you have a well-established brand, this might not be the case. Facebook provides a global connection, with many people having friends who are across the world. Your F-commerce store will give them the opportunity to become loyal shoppers as well, but you have to let them know what you have to offer. Specific product details in the About section are crucial, as are pictures, explanations and comments. Also, don’t forget a link to your official site for more information.
4. Lack of Updates Defeats the Purpose
This is one of my biggest commerce pet peeves: infrequent updates. Yes, your store will be run behind the scenes. But don’t forget it is also a social networking profile. That means you should be using it for both purposes, not just to make money. Update your status, provide those who “Like” your page with special discounts and offers, post videos and links relevant to your product or company, and keep up with what they have to say.
5. Too Many Steps to Buy
You face a couple of competitors when it comes to F-commerce. Those are nonsocial sites still selling your items. Retailers, Amazon, eBay and even Craigslist have a bit of a leg up. So, when you set up your store on Facebook, you need to make it easy to buy. If you have too many steps involved, any customer will get frustrated, and many will decide to go to more familiar places that already have their details to find the same thing, which, if they go with something used or being resold, means you won’t get the profits. Make it as simple as possible to buy from you and customize the experience using the tools at your disposal, like customer data.
F-commerce is not a difficult tool. However, it is only effective if you use it correctly. Avoid these five common pitfalls, and you should begin seeing the benefits quickly and consistently.