Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Turn Your Facebook Profile Into a Store (And Why You Should)

By now, you’ve probably heard the story of how Facebook started (or seen the movie).  It began as a social network at Harvard, moved on to encompass other schools, and then spread to the general public. People used it to connect with classmates, then with old friends, and eventually with strangers they thought were interesting.  Of course, businesses caught on, using Facebook to build their fanbase and reach new audiences.  Facebook has been more
than happy to oblige retailers and restaurants alike, offering a range of tools.  Fan Pages, business listings, and Facebook ads are just a few.

Social media lets stores reach customers in completely new ways, and it has proved to be very profitable.  This means that most businesses, small and large, want to stay on top of the newest ways to reach out. The latest buzzword is “social commerce”.  Social Commerce lets companies make the social media conversation even more profitable by selling to their fans directly through their Facebook profiles.

While this may seem like something that only big businesses would be able to take advantage of, it is surprising easy, (and inexpensive), for small stores to implement.  There are a variety of tools on the market that allow retailers to turn their Facebook Fan Page into a shopping cart.  These programs range from the very simple, (a display of products that lead you off site to purchase), to those you can customize.  Some even allow the customer to complete the entire transaction right on the Facebook tab. 

In many cases, you can set-up a store even if you don’t have an ecommerce website.  You will need to choose a payment gateway of some sort (, PayPal), and determine your shipping preferences (FedEx, UPS).  But beyond that it’s easy even for the amateur craftsperson to turn their Facebook page into a sales tool.

There is no doubt that social commerce is still evolving.  Like any new technology, it will take a while for people to get used to the idea of buying through Facebook (see infographic below).  But then again, 10 years ago it might have seemed like a long shot that your consumers would ever even buy your products online.

Social commerce is poised to be the next big thing and your business doesn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to be an “early adapter.”  There are options that cost only a few dollars a month.  Whether you’re knitting scarfs, or a major retailer, you can turn your Facebook tab into a store in a few easy steps.  And in a few years when everyone is buying through Facebook, you can brag about “being ahead of the curve.”

This is a guest post by Arianna Georgi and part of a series of guest posts that is the part of the database of highly recommended posts on Technology Assistant Blog. Learn more about Social Commerce here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We appreciate your comments

Text Widget

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...