Drawing a line between the traditional web and the social web is increasingly irrelevant. The new web is the social web. It seems certain that in 2012 f-commerce will become a significant part of online activity and engagement. Some 800 million users have proven Facebook is indeed no fad, rather it's now a utility, and progressively becoming the new web browser. As such, commercial offers and transactions on the platform are simply a given. For me, it's simply a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'. 'How' also plays a huge part – right now there's too much friction in the payment process, but those pioneering in the space will resolve this, just as they did in ecommerce.
Engage Customers with F-Commerce
It's imperative to understand the f-commerce is as much about marketing as it is about revenue – those seeking to compare ecommerce revenue with f-commerce are simply missing the point. For example, take a premier league football club: within a minute of the final whistle, the goal scorer's shirt can be posted to the facebook wall with a contextual offer. “Epic Win! To celebrate Frank Lampard's goal, we're offering 10% off his shirt". This message goes out to millions of the club's fans and then all interactions around the post are shared and seen by millions more people associated to each fan's network. This is pure awareness and engagement – it's got nothing to do with revenue. Now assume I but one of these shirts; my purchase can be shared with my entire network (and beyond). This generates even more awareness, but also a direct recommendation and endorsement from me. That's awareness, advocacy, recommendation and revenue, all in one hit.
Sell more with F-Commerce
It's still early days and f-commerce is currently reserved for pioneers, just like ecommerce once was. Those who set up shop first will most likely get the best plots. As the media report daily on economic gloom, a fall in consumer spending and massive profit losses, retail is undeniably facing a tough 2012. If internet retailing wishes to weather the storm, I believe there is a need to embrace new technologies. One of these new technologies will be f-commerce. Your customer's time is incredibly valuable, effective communication and engagement across multiple channels will really make a difference to your business this year.
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