Purchasing products via Facebook is still not an everyday experience. This is partly because so few brands have yet launched Facebook stores, but also partly because major brands after years of saying (“if only we could have customers make purchases on Facebook”) are now still creating and commissioning marketing plans that involve bouncing (or shoving!) customers from branded Facebook pages onwards to dedicated retail websites instead.
I was not suprised to read on eMarketer that:
“Software provider Ability Commerce found that 79% of the Internet Retail Top 500 retailers have Facebook pages, yet only 12% offer apps or widgets that enable ecommerce transactions on the social network. Meanwhile, according to a joint study 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, and 35% of online shoppers said they would be likely to make a purchase through Facebook”.
Facebook is the social media platform where online buyers want to make purchases if given the right opportunities to, but marketeers need to absorb this fact into their bones & make the necessary developments, instead of just knowing it intellectually, then still issuing edicts to drive as many people as possible onwards from their Facebook page on to their retail site at all costs.
To those who cite the recent Forrester report and say “social media users are not on social networks to shop”, I say there comes a time when you need to stop looking at deploying marketing methods simply led by current consumer behaviour and instead predict how marketing methods adopted will lead to the behaviour change.
If people don’t purchase much via Facebook now then they will, or indeed should have the option to. Certainly this is a better option than marketing tactics that still involve trying to shove people off Facebook and onto a separate site. If they would prefer to purchase on a dedicated site only that should be their prerogative (because of trust /privacy concerns), not there only option, and therefore the marketeers overarching objective.
Stop turning the your fans into Facebook gypsies brands, let them settle down, enjoy themselves and maybe spend some money where they are.