“Simplifying Facebook Commerce Strategies”

Simplifying Facebook Commerce Strategies” by Jonathan Cook

Marketeers have long benefited from harnessing word of mouth recommendation among Facebook’s 700m global users.  The current challenge is to monetise this relationship with people directly.

The first wave of business initiatives saw companies use the social network to launch products, reposition brands, recruit brand advocates and to amplify traditional advertising.
The second wave of commercialisation is seeing companies use Facebook as a simple but effective way of putting customers at the heart of their business.  This customer centric perspective is helping companies to consider innovative ways of digitising key business processes and interact profitably with people via social networks.  These more direct buy and sell relationships conducted over Facebook are increasingly becoming known as
F-Commerce.
When you consider the ability to target, influence and sell to very specific segments of society and special interest groups, it is no wonder that firms are coming up with a myriad of innovative and elaborate plans for social commerce.
Whilst it is possible to easily conceive extravagant social strategies, purposeful strides into F-Commerce do not need to be elaborate to be effective.  Companies that put the customer experience at the heart of their plans and take simple steps are also able to take advantage of social relationships to guide and inform the roll out of F-Commerce initiatives.  A well known brand name alone is not sufficient to guarantee that people will want to buy.
Jonas Sjöstedt, manager of social media at Oriflame typifies this customer centric approach.
Oriflame one of the world’s fastest growing cosmetic companies wanted to combine the power of social media with their business model and turned to digital consultancy Valtech to develop both the concept and technical solution for a Beauty Store on Facebook.
Oriflame’s business model is based on a network of registered consultants who make direct sales amongst their network of friends and acquaintances.  This could be described as Facebook, but in the real world.
Translating this model to Facebook, each consultant is now provided with their own shop, where their friends have access to Oriflame’s entire range of products.  Never mind the potential leverage of social connections, this approach means that there is a very short distance between customer need and actual transactions.
The Oriflame Beauty Store was launched in five countries.  After six months more than 20,000 Facebook users have installed the application. This growth is in line with expectations, and the application will continue to be launched gradually in more than 60 countries.
Jonas Sjöstedt believes that we have far from seen the full potential of E-Commerce in social media yet, “For us it’s about being at the forefront in order to recruit future customers. You could say that we are positioning ourselves for the future; we provide tools that allow people to make purchases whenever the need shows up.”
 

Valtech’s top tips for successful F-Commerce:

  • Develop with a user centric perspective– it is essential to understand the users’ needs, driving
    forces and behaviour in order to provide great user value and user experience.
  • Start Small – even if you have elaborate and imaginative plans, start with the minimum features that
    provide some value to the user and then be guided by them as you expand your initiative.
  • Integrated Payment Solutions – optimise the payment strategy to manage profitability.
  • Measure – measurement of key indicators will inform the test, adapt and improve cycle.
  • Combine creative and engineering skills in a single team from day 1 – intuitive user
    experience increases sales.  As concepts expand, integration to existing systems such as E-Commerce

    platforms may be required.  It is essential to consider such implications upfront.

The whole White Paper can be viewed by clicking the following link: http://blog.valtech.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/F-Commerce-White-Paper.pdf

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