Is it Okay to Sell on Facebook
Facebook began its existence as a website where college students could interact with one another online. The doors were later thrown open so that anyone could set up a profile on Facebook, and eventually even businesses were allowed to set up pages so that they could interact with customers and potential customers on the site.
The most recent set of developments holds perhaps the greatest promise for many businesses – the ability to conduct transactions with customers entirely on Facebook. But we are still at the early stages of this evolution. Customers are still much more likely to buy things from major online retailers such as Amazon.com, or through the businesses’ websites. But it would hardly be surprising if more of that buying activity eventually (or perhaps quickly) transitions onto Facebook.
So when it comes to your business, you may be asking yourself when it’s appropriate to sell on Facebook, and if so, how you should go about it. Let’s discuss some of the major points relating to those issues.
Selling on Facebook if You’re Just Starting Out With Ecommerce.
If you don’t already have an ecommerce function set up on your business website, then you’re faced with a big decision; whether any sales you conduct on Facebook are going to be supplemental to whatever you may eventually build on your own website, or whether you’re Facebook storefront is going to be your exclusive sales channel. Beware of choosing the last option because if Facebook restricts your access for whatever reason, you no longer has a storefront.
As is the case with the process of building an online store on your website, you don’t have to build things entirely from scratch. There are a number of different service providers that make it very easy for you to automatically set up a store on your Facebook page. Some of the more popular solutions include Ecwid, Bigcommerce, Soldsie and ShopTab. Some of these services offer free trials, and prices generally begin as low as $10 per month.
The Coming Rise of Social Commerce?
You may be wondering why it’s worth bothering with e-commerce on Facebook in the first place. After all, not everyone uses Facebook, and even active Facebook users aren’t yet buying much on the site. The reason is simple – “social commerce.”
Social commerce refers to the way in which our personal connections – our friends, family members and colleagues – can influence our shopping behaviors. After all, getting a recommendation from someone you know is generally much more important and valuable to us than receiving a recommendation from someone we don’t know.
In fact, we’re seeing more instances of businesses trying to manipulate the online recommendations and reviews for their products and services, as well as the products and services of their competitors. A direct recommendation from someone we know on Facebook can help cut through all of this confusion.
Managing Your Advertising Campaigns.
If you maintain a Facebook store as well as conduct e-commerce on your business website, you may wish to keep your various advertising campaigns separate. After all, your marketing and advertising approaches on Facebook are likely to be different (and potentially very different) from the methods you use to advertise the store on your website.
The concept of “social commerce” is also relevant in the marketing context. Users on Facebook talk to one another – after all that’s why they’re on Facebook in the first place. Creating Facebook marketing campaigns that get people talking about them can be a great way to boost your sales on the site.
I know I’ve shared a lot already and we’re coming near the end of my blog post series. In the next post, let’s talk about how to tie everything together; that is, how to incorporate Facebook directly into your existing website…and then we’ll wrap things up so you can go be a Facebook success!