P&G Wants to Make Facebook an E-Commerce Destination

But will shoppers bite?

Facebook has long been a popular place for companies to promote their products. But so far, e-commerce on the site hasn’t exactly taken off. Now, with six new Facebook stores, Proctor & Gamble is hoping that Facebook users might be tempted to shell out for a side of laundry detergent with their social networking.

After launching a P&G pilot store on Facebook last year, the company is adding new stores for Tide, Gillette, Olay, Gain, CoverGirl, Luvs, and Febreze. While the first store was run by Amazon, P&G is outsourcing its newest batch to eStore, an independent online retailer that’s the result of a collaboration between P&G, Resource Interactive, and PFSWeb. “Shop now” buttons on the brands’ pages link users to a retail page where they can scoop up the goods without ever leaving Facebook.

The brands’ store pages are leaving room for other retailers to join the Facebook party, too. At the bottom of each, users are told to “Purchase on Facebook through these trusted retailers.” So far, only eStore is listed, but other retailers could easily be added to the list—Walmart is rumored to be interested, according to AdAge.

As for why P&G is taking on Facebook commerce in the first place, company spokeswoman Tonia Elrod explained: “Social-network selling is an extension of our overall focus on innovation and brand building… We expect testing commerce via social networks like Facebook will help us accelerate e-commerce growth as consumers buy more of our categories online.”

But with no discernable advantage for shoppers who buy P&G products through Facebook rather than through more traditional e-commerce sites, the new brand stores could be a tough sell.