Facebook Stores Fail to Live up to the HypeAuthor: Jamie | Filed under: Social Media
In 2011, lots of well known retailers worldwide set up dedicated Facebook stores. This was heralded by many as the start of something big: f-commerce.
Less than a year after opening, some of these big names have closed their doors on Facebook and gone back to focusing on their e-commerce websites.
Find out why, and what this can teach small business owners.
GAP was one of the highest profile retailers to start and end their f-commerce presence within a 12 month period.
A lack of sales on Facebook is the significant factor in these stores never really getting off the ground. Having a full e-commerce website and then a secondary Facebook store doesn’t really make sense.
Facebook isn’t dead in the water by any means when it comes to business use. It’s still a huge source of traffic to companies’ websites, which in many cases turns into significant sales volumes.
What lessons can small businesses learn from this?
No matter what size of business you are, there are some valuable lessons to be learned from this situation.
- Focus your efforts on thing at a time
Even big companies can find it problematic to focus on too many things at once. Finding the finances and time to invest in a potentially risky proposition can hurt companies at every level.
Running a small business in particular can feel like you’ve got fingers in lots of different pies. However, it’s always best to focus your efforts 100% on one thing at a time. For example, launching a new email newsletter before you’ve got a decent amount of subscribers is not the best use of time. In this situation, you’d be better off encouraging more people to sign up for your emails first.
- Sometimes being an early adopter can backfire
The online world moves at a frightening pace at times. Jumping on ‘the next big thing’ can be very risk, especially if you’re a small company or start-up with limited resources.
Companies such as GAP can afford to make the odd mistake here and there, but a ‘wait and see’ approach is often best when it comes to online innovation.
- Choose the right platform for your advertising messages
Think about what you predominately use Facebook for. Is it the best place to try to sell products and services?
The social element of Facebook is very much geared to friends and family spending time catching up with each other. Many brands use it in a more subtle way to drive traffic to their main e-commerce websites, but as the recent spate of f-commerce store closures shows, people don’t like being sold to directly.
It pays to think about this in terms of any advertising or promotional activity you do. Are you wasting money on the wrong platforms? i.e. taking a general one size fits all approach rather than getting specific and finding out where and how to best reach your market.
If you liked this article, try reading: Facebook vs. Twitter
Image credit: Jason