All About F-commerce

Almost all experts and analysts agree on the fact that social networking sites and specifically Facebook will emerge as the strongest presence in the business scenario. IDC, a leading analysis firm, states that within the next 5 years, up to 15 percent of consumer expenditure will be done through Facebook. This has led to the increasingly used term called Facebook commerce or F-commerce.

What exactly is F-commerce?
F-commerce is the use of Facebook for retail and is a growing trend in the corporate or business world. F-commerce is available through Facebook stores, social plug-ins and even open graph. You can also use Facebook to drive ecommerce traffic for companies who can use the features and reach of the social networking company to increase footfall on their own websites as well. As social marketing technology goes, F-commerce is becoming increasingly popular.

The growth of F-commerce
There is little doubt that F-commerce is growing steadily. Granted there are a few naysayers but here is solid "proof" of the growth of F-commerce.

Big names in the business like Starbucks, Disney, Procter and Gamble, Coca Cola have used Facebook to sell directly to more than 20 million fans or followers on Facebook. Coca Cola has 24 million and Disney has 19 million fans. Rachel Roy opened a Facebook jewelry store and within 6 hours all wares were sold out. Around 67 percent of retailers have drawn up plans to use Facebook to drive their business forward. In terms of online expenditure, Facebook users spend 1.5 times more than other internet shoppers.

So all these numbers and statistics mean that businesses need to start taking F-commerce rather seriously. This is true for the owners of small and medium enterprises too.

How can SMEs and business owners prepare for this new trend?
Most business owners, whether they are SMEs or bigger entities would love to get more bang for their buck and therefore would love to use the reach and simplicity of F-commerce. Developing unique content is one keystone of preparing for the site. In a crowded space, like Facebook, your content needs to be attractive and interactive in order to garner as many "likes", followers and buyers too. Considering that Facebook is a highly interactive medium, you also need to have someone dedicated to handling the communication flows taking place between customers, between business and customer and even customers and your competition as well.

Relevant Facebook applications and some relevant features to consider
There is a range of relevant Facebook applications that will make the handling of retail on Facebook smarter, more effective and simpler. One feature that you must consider is the need to facilitate mobile interaction. Mobile commerce is a huge part of F-commerce since an increasing number of people use smartphone and other mobile devices to log on to Facebook. The company itself has acquired Karma in the recent past. This company is known for its ability to deliver better monetization on mobile platforms.

You will also need to consider apps that will enable you to create a retail store on Facebook, one that enables an electronic newsletter and creating interactive presentations and promotions. You will also need an effective CRM to help you manage your presence on Facebook.

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