Social commerce is probably on the business minds of every retailer who wants to tap into the endless opportunities of social media. According to a recent study, Facebook is not a favorite platform for social commerce, but is a favorite for those who like to shop on the internet.
Ability Commerce found that 79% of the Internet Retail Top 500 retailers have Facebook pages. However, only 12% offer apps or widgets that enable ecommerce transactions on the social network. On another joint study conducted by Shop.org, comScore and Social Shopping Labs, more than half (53%) of Facebook users have reached a retailer’s website from its Facebook page. Thirty-five percent of online shoppers said they would make a purchase through Facebook.
Facebook has evolved as the social media venue of choice among online buyers. Online buyers using retailers’ Facebook pages increased 3 percentage points over the previous year. The increases of retailer’s use of the popular social network bumped blogs, forums and review sites to second place.
The potential of finding out about online or offline sales and promotions on a retailer’s Facebook page is a huge lure. Over 56% of those surveyed visited retailers’ Facebook pages for this purpose, while 58% in the Shop.org study cited deals as a primary motivation.
Also important to the consumer was learning more about a retailer and keeping up to date on their products. The study showed that more than 20% of online buyers found Facebook pages “influential” or “extremely influential,” regardless of where the transaction is completed. And, the popular platform fared better than mobile or Twitter.
All this research indicates that Facebook is being used by online shoppers more than ever and is continuing to grow in popularity, but has yet to find a way to bridge the gap between ecommerce apps and users desire to shop directly on Facebook.
Based on these numbers, if I was a retailer, I would start a Facebook page promoting my sales and other related products. Even if online shoppers are not yet able to make purchases directly through Facebook, exclusive offers can create an image of goodwill, customer loyalty and sharing. Once the opportunity arrives, which it will, my Facebook page will be able to handle the leap to Facebook-commerce when it is offered.