F-commerce is a form of e-commerce that involves buying and selling things via Facebook- that ever popular social networking site that has been growing, not only in popularity, but also in the range of its uses, ever since it was first launched eight years ago. Of course, other social networks have also been used for business purposes, including Groupon, Saveology, ShopSocially, and Lockerz; and there is a more general term- social commerce- that refers to this phenomenon. In this article, however, we will concentrate exclusively on Facebook Commerce.
Currently, F-commerce is only being used to sell limited kinds of products. But that is sure to change. Facebook has already launched a search engine called Wishpond, which allows users to search for the products that they want at places near them. And retailers can create their own Facebook stores and create listings in the search engine via RetailConnect, which also contains a widget that enables customers to locate the outlet that is closest to the place where they live.
Facebook Commerce is beginning to spread all over the European continent. The London Fashion Network- according to an interview with I-COM- is “already proving to be valuable for those that have Facebook Commerce stores set up.” Max Factor (P & G), a British- based company, offers more opportunities than ever to purchase makeup. The French f- store La Roudette has integrated its PayPal checkout system so that a new window comes up, eliminating the necessity for users to leave Facebook to complete their shopping. And Otto, a German fashion company, has also “jumped in” to the field.
The attraction of selling with Facebook is so great that such entertainers as Lady Gaga and such old, established businesses as pepsi cola are taking advantage of it. Given the amount of time people in industrialized societies spend on Facebook and other social networks, the store that has a page there has a tremendous leg- up in the market that it might not otherwise have. For the consumer, too, Facebook commerce has its attractions: There is no need to leave the page in order to do his shopping, and once he is finished he can go back to whatever it was that he happened to be doing on Facebook before. Some people and groups, like Yahoo! Finance, think that F-commerce does not work and is doomed to failure, but in fact it is the future of e-commerce.