Roman’s Rants: Facebook Commerce

Now that Facebook has captured even mainstream media with their recent Form S-1 Registration Statement preceding their IPO, I wanted to take the chance and produce a charming little piece on what I think is one of the most-frequently quoted but at the same time one of the dumbest concepts connected to this social network: I’m talking about F-Commerce, Facebook Commerce of however you want to call it. What a piece of shit!

Okay, let me provide you with a quick look into the wet dreams of all those speakers/consultants/authors who manage to praise F-Commerce in each and every publication they bother the world with: merchants should dump all their product data into applications that allow making purchases right out of Facebook, without ever having to leave this haven of digital social connectedness. No, we don’t need onlineshops that are potentially unsafe: Leave it all in Facebook’s hands and the online retail experience will be nothing short of supreme! I can even faintly remember somebody writing about Facebook becoming the new Amazon, becoming the next-big super-retailer. BS I say!

People are on Facebook to meet other people, to exchange funny bits and pieces, to share photos, to stay in touch – and to play! The latter is actually FB’s biggest revenue driver, with the platform keeping a 30% share of every transaction that is made via the Facebook Credits system. People are not going there to buy stuff! They aren’t even in a searchy, spendy mood (at least when it comes to physical goods), they just want to have a jolly good time, for the love of God!

But even if the commerce bit happens outside of Facebook, social media pundits make us believe we should plaster it with Facebook like and fucking share buttons. As if modern digital mankind circulated around purchasing stuff and boasting about it! Put a Facebook like button on the product detail page of a trailer coupling. Who in the name of all that’s pure and good would want something like this appear in his fucking timeline? And only really weird people would post each and everything they order into all the available channels. If you’re one of them, get a fucking live!

Not to be mistaken: I’m not at all dismissing the idea of purchasing decisions being a joint effort, supported by a social network – quite the contrary! I’m convinced that advanced product discovery based on the opinion of people that are close to you will be at the core of innovation in commerce. But this needs clever strategies and structures – and no braindead Facebook idolism.

11 Responses to Roman’s Rants: Facebook Commerce

  1. Malte says:

    Well said!
    Yet, saying “People are on Facebook to meet other people, to exchange funny bits and pieces, to share photos, to stay in touch – and to play!” is surely somewhat true but only half the truth.

    At first people went to Facebook to rate hotness of chicks in their dorm, then to connect with fellow students, etc. Nobody would have guessed that this would be the destination to play games. Today, people go there to listen to music (and not just since Spotify), to watch movies and even to read articles. And they will go there to shop.
    Yet, none – or only few – of the fCommerce solutions are “social by design” or even solve problems for the user. All other successful apps are user-centric. It all revolves around my friends (what my friends read, watched, listened, too), and this is what Shopping should revolve around as well.

    So far, everybody – including me – is only talking about it. I’d love to show you our new product StylesClub Pro when we go in Beta Mode (4 weeks from now). It is awesome and I haven’t met one person who after seeing it does not love it!

  2. Hendrik Maat says:

    Would be interesting to meet you. Pitty about your bad language, it takes away the seriousness from your article. If you don`t have real arguments, using a lot of fuck does not cover for it. Usually it states the fact how poor your argumts are. Just saying.

    Just to show you at least one shop that is rocking (in both senses): have a look at http://www.facebook.com/988kissfm. Its an example of a facebookshop concept that works. I thought I just let you know.

    • Roman says:

      Let’s meet indeed, any plans of travelling to a conference or something? And then you’ll find that I’m actually quite a likeable person able to go without swearwords and with arguments. :)

  3. Pingback: The Sense in the (Anti) F-Commerce Rant | Social Commerce Today

  4. paulsmarsden says:

    Hi Roman, smart words – we’ve replied to the ‘Roman Rant’ in full over at Social Commerce Today

    http://socialcommercetoday.com/the-sense-in-the-anti-f-commerce-rant/

    In a nutshell, yes – but is there not a place for e-commerce with Facebook when you use Facebook as a fan-management platform to offer fans fan-firsts, fan-exclusives and fan-merchandise?

    • Roman says:

      Hi Paul, thx a bunch!! Great to see you picking up my rant and adding some more context – that just made my day :)

  5. Pano Anthos says:

    The Kiss98.fm store I think proves Roman’s and Paul’s point. If your product or service builds a real fan base, then a facebook store is a logical add-on because of the impulse buying that real fans often engage in. But as an e-commerce platform, Roman is right.

    I spent 4 years building Facebook games using brands and its a lot harder than it looks to walk the fine line between brand engagement and over-hyping product, the latter of which results in poor results.

    Let’s face it. Most brands do not have or build truly viral products, where their Net Promoter Score gets anywhere close to an Apple, for example. Non-viral products or services on facebook will not do that well. Music, which seems to have virality built into it, is a natural on Facebook. Most brands are not even close to being viral.

  6. Pingback: Can You Find Success with f-Commerce?

  7. Pingback: F-Commerce: Hate to say I told you so « ecomPunk

  8. Pingback: Exceed 2012 Recap: Day 1 « ecomPunk

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