Since the switch to iFrames-based Facebook pages, apps designed to sell products directly from a Facebook page have increased at an incredible rate. Apps like ShopTab are being used by major brands like Coca-Cola and Silly Brandz to sell products to predominately American users. Bijness.in is one of these apps, with an affiliate marketing business model and a hook allegedly aiming for the 23 million Facebook users in India.
This service has become available about five days ago and already 24 affiliate stores are live (another 73 have signed up to do so as well) using the service that stocks 4,000 different products grouped in three departments: tee-shirts, electronics and gifts.
Bijness.in provides free Facebook and blog turnkey store fronts. Everything is provided – the products, the prices and the payment processing. Storefront owners simply install the Bijness.in app on their Facebook page and start collecting profits from their sales.
In essence, Bijness.in is an affiliate sales program designed for Facebook: store owners are given a subdomain of the main store, LeLoot.com. The storefront simply redirects sales to the affiliate’s subdomain of LeLoot.com.
Unlike traditional affiliate sales programs, Bijness.in generates daily, unique sales promotions for each affiliate store. Owners then share the sales promotion with friends or followers through any of the major social networking websites, or via email.
Store owners are provided with statistics regarding the number of views their stores receive, and easy one-click promotional features. Profit margins are prominently displayed, so store owners know about how much money they should make from each sale.
As far as customization, store owners have little control over the products their stores sell, or the prices set for the items in the stores. Products range from electronics and t-shirts, to hookahs and novelties, but owners cannot add their own products to the store. The only customizations available are the subdomain name, the company logo and a welcome message.
As we tested the interface, we found a few bugs, but given that the launch is less than a week old we figure these quirks may disappear soon. Pictures are resized in distorted ways throughout the Facebook app. Prices are absent for most of the tee-shirts. We were also disappointed in the need for a popup window to complete the purchase on the LeLoot.com website. The redirect could easily have occurred within the Facebook app, which would then create a smoother buying experience.
Facebook retailing is a quickly emerging market, predicted to reach $30 billion worldwide by 2015, so it is no wonder companies are trying to sell their products in this way. Affiliate stores like Bijness.in are sure to become as much a part of Facebook sales as they are for other ecommerce sales.
Readers, how comfortable are you with the idea of shopping on Facebook — and how would you feel about buying from an affiliate store on the social network?