F-commerce, the ability to purchase services and products via Facebook, will have a significant impact on the use of social media in business as more brands integrate it into their sales strategies, according to social media agency Punch Communications.
Delta Airlines recently announced that it had launched a Facebook store application, enabling users to search, book and pay for flights, without having to leave the social networking site; a smart move for an airline that market itself as being ‘the world’s largest Wi-Fi equipped fleet.’ Punch Communications has indicated that it will only be a matter of time before other brands follow suit and the checkout is brought to the customers as opposed to the customers going to the checkout.
SeeWhy carried out a poll on the subject, finding that 78% of marketers plan to use Facebook for social commerce and 26% plan to build an e-commerce application on Facebook itself. Although these figures suggest that brands are already acknowledging f-commerce as being the next significant step to take, very few are seizing the opportunity.
F-commerce certainly has its advantages for a brand. It is currently difficult to decipher the exact link between social media and sales because a sizable following, regular updates and interesting engagement does not necessarily translate into sales. Integrating sales mechanics into social media platforms will enable brands to better gauge the success of their social media outreach.
Managing Director of Punch Communications, Pete Goold, commented; “Now that a substantial number of brands have a social media presence, it’s time for them to start taking the next steps, ensuring their bottom line benefits from these groups of prospective customers.
“Allowing fans to purchase the products or services that they’re discussing within the same network could result in certain brands standing head and shoulders above competitors. F-commerce should be seen as a chance to offer fans exclusive discounts and incentives and, if done correctly, opening a Facebook store is likely to enhance a brand’s fan acquisition, therefore increasing exposure to potential customers.”
Aside from being a traditional PR company, Punch is also a search and online PR agency, offering integrated digital services to the majority of its clients. For more information please contact +44 (0) 1858 411600 or visit punchcomms.com.