Social commerce spotlight: Hope on the horizon for f-commerce?
As speculation abounds that F-commerce is a sinking ship, a new survey from e-commerce platform Payvment shows that there are hundreds of thousands of smaller businesses successfully selling products on Facebook.
The F-Commerce Facts Survey was sent to a selection of Payvment’s 100,000 sellers across 12 countries, who demonstrated that they’re playing a major role in achieving Facebook’s projected $5 billion in ad revenue this year. More than a third of respondents (39 percent) said they’d used Facebook Ads to promote their Facebook stores, making it the second most prevalent marketing tactic after general Facebook marketing. Most of this group (70 percent) said they’d use Facebook Ads again.
Curiously, 38 percent of respondents said they linked to their Facebook store from their company website. It would be interesting to see whether this group offered ecommerce from their main site, too, given that evidence thus far suggests consumers prefer making purchases from dedicated websites, rather than Facebook. Indeed, the survey shows that websites are still the predominant sales channel, with 63 percent of companies selling products in this way.
Interestingly, the survey also shows that 37 percent of small businesses are using Facebook as their sole sales channel, although there’s no indication of the success they’ve had in this approach. However, the majority of respondents (72 percent) have less than 500 Facebook fans, so the results provide a snapshot of the way small businesses view their store fronts. Indeed, the same number – 72 percent – point to their small fanbase as the biggest challenge of selling on Facebook.
Nonetheless, respondents were full of praise for Facebook stores. When asked what they liked best about selling on Facebook, 61 percent said the ability to promote products via social marketing, 60 percent liked that customers don’t have to leave Facebook to make a purchase, 50 percent were enamoured with the ease of setting up and maintaining a storefront, 40 percent citied being familiar with Facebook as a plus, and 33 percent said their Facebook store made it easier for shoppers to discover their products.
However, as noted, while these figures look positive on the face of things there’s no real information illustrating just how successful these small businesses have been using Facebook stores – only that they are using them. Given the spate of closures by big brands – which have the backing of huge marketing budgets and advertising teams – is it possible that small businesses are simply yet to feel the boat lurch?