Social Commerce

80+ practical f-commerce tips from industry-pros

In the penultimate of our current series on f-commerce, the use of Facebook to deliver a social shopping experience, here’s a roundup of 80+ practical tips from industry pros.

Which of these tips you find most insightful and useful?  And let us know who or what we’ve missed, or indeed if you have any of your own practical tips for deploying f-commerce you’d care to share.

Angie Schottmuller (ClickZ) in Facebook Commerce Springing Up: No Plug-in Required (April 2011)

  • 1) Use like-gating creatively, such as Home Depot – they ask for a large quantity of “likes” on status updates to reveal new content
  • 2) Offer exclusive content with offer only available on Facebook, giving fans following the brand had an inside scoop on exclusive deals.
  • 3) Provide a special value proposition such as unique products, one-time-only availability and extreme discounts to make products compelling.
  • 4) Offer transparency. Within the limited space available include detailed product descriptions, availability, pricing, and shipping costs (ideally free).
  • 5) Exploit urgency and limited quantity. Beyond the great deal, make offers time and volume sensitive to create buzz and a sense of occasion

Jason Taylor (Usablenet) in Four Facebook E-Commerce Tips for Brands (March 2011)

  • 6) Use Facebook, Share, Like and reviews API: Facebook offers businesses a range of APIs to enhance their e-commerce offerings – use them
  • 7) Support Easy Secure E-commerce: Given that f-commerce is still in its nascent stages, it is essential for businesses to guarantee both an easy and secure user experience.
  • 8) Track your success: Use web tracking systems such as Google Analytics, Omniture or Webtrends, and Facebook’s internal tracking system, Facebook Insight.
  • 9) Leverage Facebook E-Commerce for Social Campaigns: increase campaign ROI by integrating e-commerce functionality (e.g. auto-sending/landing of users to Facebook store, link wall/page content (news, ads, promotions, flash sales) to Facebook store pages, Facebook’s upcoming Buy With Friends” program)

Macala Wright Lee (FashionablyMarketing) in 5 Ways Retailers Are Winning Big With Facebook Commerce (March 2011)

  • 10) Use Pop-Up Shops and Insider Shopping Events – e.g. Rachel Roy’s pop-up store creating a sales spike
  • 11) Run Private, Fan-Only Sales – e.g. Kembrel’s fan-only store
  • 12) Deploy Wish List Features: Bulgari’s – integrate a wish-list (Wishpot) into your Facebook storefront/store
  • 13) Install Facebook Ecommerce Apps – add a Facebook store/storefront such as Payvment to your Facebook page
  • 14) Offer Full Ecommerce Integration – add a full store into Facebook as ASOS and Young British Designers have done

Macala Wright Lee (FashionablyMarketing) in Three Things Retailers Need For Facebook Commerce Success (March 2011)

  • 15) Remain authentically social. Being “social” is the whole point. Brands and retailers should focus on creating meaningful interactions with their Facebook fans through brand and customer content before they focus on selling them anything.
  • 16) Augment the social aspects of your Facebook presence with ecommerce. Make sure your fans’ interaction with content seamlessly translates over into their purchase experience. This must live within the Facebook community, not redirect them to your main ecommerce site.
  • 16) Monitor user behavior to develop incentives that turn fans into customers. Use Facebook’s internal tracking system, Facebook Insights, in addition to other analytics, in order to develop coupons, deals, discounts or rewards programs that increase purchase conversion.

Mitch Joel (Six Pixels of Separation) in F-Commerce – Rise Of The Facebook Consumer (March 2011)

  • 18) Use f-commerce to validate the business case for Facebook investment (by creating a digital trail between Facebook activity and transactions)
  • 19) Think of f-commerce as people-centric e-commerce – why force customers to come to your website?  If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed…
  • 20) To see the potential of f-commerce, think about the money being exchanged on iTunes in terms of gift cards, etc… and take a look at Facebook’s statistics.

Ruth Mortimer (Adage) in Brands must believe the f-commerce hype (March 2011)

  • 21) Use f-commerce to add instant gratification, personalisation and a human touch to your value proposition

Jay Dunn (Social Media Today) in Watch Out, E-Commerce and M-Commerce: Here Comes ‘F-Commerce’ and He’s Ready to Steal Your Girlfriend (March 2011)

  • 22) Use f-commerce to move your social media strategy from engagement to consideration to activation to purchase – with honesty, persuasion, and grace

Jeff Bullas ( on F-Commerce: Is Facebook The New Shop Of The Future? (March 2011)

  • 23) Use Facebook contests that request “Likes” to automatically send users to your Facebook store to encourage product browsing.
  • 24) Post ads, promotions, flash sales, or product-focused press to your Wall and link to the Facebook store’s product  pages, enabling quick ‘in-network’ purchasing
  • 25) Leverage Facebook API to combine “deals of the day” or product announcements with deep links to product detail and purchase pages within your Facebook store

Jeff Bullas ( in F-Commerce: 10 Tips For A Successful Facebook Store (March 2011)

  • 26) Choose a shop application that is easy to set-up and you can customize your Facebook shop store
  • 27) Tell your customers where to find your store and how it works
  • 28) Import your email into your promotions app
  • 29) Actively promote your products, promotions and discounts using email, Twitter and Facebook
  • 30) Use great high definition photos and images
  • 31) Use your wall like it’s your shop window
  • 32) Reward your fans with exclusive discounts and promotions
  • 33) You stay within the Facebook ecosystem from  product browsing to checkout
  • 34) You can measure with inbuilt analytics and tools but also be able to add Google analytics and Facebook Insights to your toolkit analytics tools.
  • 35) You don’t have to be computer programmer so you can make your own changes quickly and efficiently to your design and F-Commerce landing page

Jake Hird (Econsultancy) in What does the future hold for f-commerce? (March 2011)

  • 36) It’s not either/or (either traditional e-commerce or f-commerce) – it’s both; best practice e-commerce has taught us that if you have the resources to extend to different touch points, then do it.  It’s about enabling consumers to have the choice to shop where they choose.

Jesse Stanchak (SmartBrief) in Spotlight on social commerce (March 2011)

  • 37) If you’re going to engage in ‘like-gating’ (putting a virtual gate to your f-store, opened only after liking the page), make sure you use the data from the like to offer some kind of value to customers – such as instant personalisation.
  • 38) Use f-commerce to offer an integrated (rather than fragmented experience) – don’t make customers go to different sites to complete shopping tasks (researching, buying, sharing)
  • 39) Forget f-commerce if it simply means throwing up a storefront in Facebook – you need to deliver real value

David Yovanno (Gigya) in Top 3 social commerce tips from Gigya CEO David Yovanno (March 2011)

  • 40) First, remove friction – integrate social sharing with social sign-on so that items can be shared with the least amount of friction.
  • 41) Second, provide incentives – reward customers for social activity by providing incentives. Both virtual and monetary incentives help foster customer loyalty.
  • 42) Third, measure – track not only sharing volume but the resulting referral traffic and its impact on sales. With this information, retailers can then reward their largest influencers, driving more Word of Mouth (WOM) activity

Ben Staveley (Econsultancy) in Seven tips for embracing social commerce (March 2011)

  • 43) Check your analytics: Before you start see what sort of traffic you are getting from the social web at the moment and how well this traffic converts – first step should be to improve conversion
  • 44) Understand how social your customers are: put your toes in the water by listening and engaging customers in social media to see how they react. Social is not for everyone
  • 45) Start using your Facebook page to promote products: begin marketing products on your Facebook account.
  • 46) Using the analysis goals I identified in point one, you can see how effective this is and whether it is driving sales.
  • 47) ‘Socialise’ your website: add social media sharing links to your website.
  • 48) Use a Facebook shopping app: If your customers are Facebook users, it makes sense to let them shop there too rather than leaving to go to your website
  • 49) Investigate bespoke solutions turn your Facebook account into a fully functional e-commerce platform.
  • 50) Don’t just sell: social commerce shouldn’t be all about selling – add value to their customers’ shopping experience – and give give them a reason for communicating with you and their peers.

Alisa Gould-Simon (Mashable / on How Fashion Retailers Are Redefining E-Commerce With Social Media (March 2011)

  • 51) Empower Consumers: Use Facebook to let customers have a say in the business ( crowdsourcing decisions (a la Threadless and Modcloth)), and have their say in promoting you (word of mouth initiatives)
  • 52) Use exclusivity: Make your customers feel special by giving them exclusive access, information and products

Lauren Fisher (The Next Web) in The Key Trends in Social Commerce (March 2011)

  • 53) Deploy a Social Shopping Cart: Allow people to shop and share with their social graph
  • 54) Make Personalised recommendations, based on social profile (using social sign-on)
  • 55) Open a Shop on Facebook, and add value (like’s Shop My List app, that allows people to quickly and conveniently make repeat purchases from Facebook)
  • 56) Enable sharing with friends before buying – to allow customers to friendsource advice on whether to buy
  • 57) Consider Social Currency – explore accepting Facebook Credits for payment
  • 58) Reward social interactions – incentivise customers to share and spread the word

Lora Cecere in The Rise of Social Commerce (Feb 2011)

  • 59) Start with the basics – f-commerce is about customer closeness: customers are moving offsite and connecting with each other on social platforms, and making decisions with each other there. Businesses need to be on social media to be where your customers are.
  • 60) Begin by engaging your fans on Facebook – ask your fans how you should deploy f-commerce to add value
  • 61) Use e-commerce to sell f-commerce to peers: 10 years ago – when the Web was smaller than Facebook, CEO’s balked at requests for budget to deploy social commerce (no-one will buy online) but those that believed profited.  Social commerce is the second online commerce revolution
  • 62) Have clear measurable goals in social commerce – are you primarily seeking to anticipate, personalize or energize the shopping experience?
  • 63) Use social commerce as a solution to offer your best customers a unique VIP buying experience
  • 64) Have a roadmap – awareness – dialogue – P2P – redefinition to anticipate, personalize or energize the shopping experience
  • 65) Deploy social commerce with emerging trends – Universal ID, Intersection of Interest and Social Graphs, Like Button tied to Open Innovation Networks, 2-D Barcodes, Social Search and Virtual Currency
  • 66) Fail fast, fail forward – social commerce is a journey not a destination, so start the journey  now, become a pioneers and learn as you evolve

Chris Lake (Econsultancy) Why do people follow brands on Facebook? (Feb 2011)

  • 67) Focus f-commerce strategy on delivering against customers principal reason to connect with you on Facebook – access to special offers

Gerd Leonhard (Media Futurist) on the Dealing with Consumer Behaviour Shaped by Social Media (Jan 2011)

  • 68. Don’t start with the premise that Facebook is a social network, think of it as an Social Operating System (SOS) enabling and empowering social action: Use f-commerce to enable and empower consumers to shop socially by sharing ideas, experiences and opinions; the goal of f-commerce should be to turn social data into social value for the customer
  • 69. To sell with Facebook, become proficient in the 5C’s of social selling – contextualising, connecting, curating, culling and collating

Paul Chaney (Practical Ecommerce) in 4 Realities of Selling on Facebook (Jan 2011)

  • 70) Harness opportunities with the new Facebook Page Redesign – from the photo ribbon to app menu – use the new page design to enhance customer experience
  • 71) Make use of iFrames – the death of FBML and the switch to iFrames opens a wealth of possibilities for f-commerce
  • 72) Work with Sponsored Stories Ad Units
  • 73) Manage Expectations Early Sales Volume will be Low
  • 74) Plan integration with traditional e-commerce  (back-end functionality) – don’t create a silo
  • 75) Understand that merchandising is different (and limited) on Facebook; traditional forms of online merchandising — limited-time special offers, promo codes, free shipping offers, affiliate marketing and so forth can work, but the essence of Facebook merchandising may be more about product and purchase sharing in users’ newsfeeds
  • 76) Don’t let Facebook become a middleman between you and your customer – instead use it to get up close and personal with your customers

Amalia Agathou in The DOs & DON’Ts of Facebook Commerce (Nov 2010)

  • 77) Do: Give your fans special treatment (e.g. Nine West offering fans 15% discount, orRachel Roy “only available on Facebook” jewelry
  • 78) Don’t: Neglect your looks (f-store design matters – the  P&G’s Pampers Store sets the standard
  • 79) Do: Make a pop-up store (temporary stores for events and flash sales e.g. Disney’s Toy Story ticketing, and P&G’s Old Spice campaign merchandise store and their Pantene ‘get-it-first’ store)
  • 80) Don’t: Rely on just an F-store. (Enrich the customer experience with social features (Macy’s Magic Fitting Room)
  • 81) Do: Provide a holistic experience. (Bring Facebook to your e-commerce site (with social plugins and the open graph) as well as e-commerce to your Facebook page (e.g. Levi’s friends store, Amazon Facebook login)
  • 82) Don’t: Neglect customer service. (f-commerce is real time commerce – are you ready to respond to questions posted to your wall?)

Manish Mehta (Dell) in Facebook takes steps to become a genuine business platform (Nov 2010)

  • 83) Add a transactional layer to social media strategy: The next logical step in social media is transactional social media

Brian Solis in From E-Commerce to F-Commerce (Oct 2010)

  • 84) Your goal in f-commerce should be to provide value to the social consumer, defined as those consumers who use their social stream and social graph to seek shopping advice and guide purchase decisions (NB f-commerce def. “the ability to execute transactions in Facebook without leaving the network or leveraging the open graph by integrating Facebook into traditional site-based e-commerce platforms” )
  • 85) Use f-commerce to bring your retail touchpoint to the [social] consumer – rather than make them come to you.
  • 86) Empower social consumers to connect with you meaningfully on Facebook, whilst enabling them to connect with each other
  • 87) Successful f-commerce is predicated upon having likeable value proposition: Think of Facebook “Likes” as a form of social currency that contributes to the overall social capital of your brand, and that can be converted into ‘Buys’ through f-commerce
  • 88) Don’t forsake e-commerce for f-commerce, you need them both – f-commerce for the social consumer, e-commerce for the traditional consumer

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

7 Comments Add New Comment

    1. Hi Jeff, great to hear from you – yes – your REBA post is v. smart, best use of using the principles of social influence – I’ve seen. Thanks!

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