I recently wrote about how this upcoming holiday shopping season is going to be more “mobile” than ever, and how now is the time (actually July was) to make sure you have a solid strategy to use people’s smartphones to both lead them to your water and make them drink.
But on top of this, you’ve got to be keeping a close eye on Facebook sCommerce, because it’s rapidly coming into its own and will change the way we market, shop for and buy products… forever. The recent Facebook changes, despite grumblings and debates on whether or not they’re going to be positive for brands, are in fact laying the foundation on which you’ll be able to build and implement shopping experiences for your customers that can alter your relationships with them for the positive.
You’ve probably already noticed how often you’re seeing what music your friends are listening to on Spotify in your Facebook Ticker. Not only are people trying and discovering all kinds of new music they never would have heard of otherwise, they’re discovering Spotify. That’s a win for the app, a win for the Facebook user, and a win for the music labels and artists. Now picture your app in Spotify’s place, and imagine your products being blasted out in Tickers like that. Exciting huh?
That’s what the new Open Graph functionality makes possible, with new buttons like “Want,” and “Own.” If I see that a friend of mine owns one of your printers, I can ask them if they like it. If they do, I’m highly likely to buy it…possibly right away, and within the Facebook environment. Because I trust my friend. If I “want” the iPhone 4S you make, you’ll see that and incentivize me with a deal that closes the sale. It’s like an in-store salesperson not even needing to ask a shopper, “Can I help you?” You already know what I want.
And because these instant, highly cool engagements are going to be possible, it’s time to think about starting your Facebook store if you don’t already have one, or spicing up the one you have so that it’s a shopping experience that’s every bit as much fun as the real thing, or better. Social marketing tech platforms that are on their game have the gear to make just about any virtual experience happen. And the products shoppers see in your store may just generate a very public post in Tickers, News Feeds and Timelines that draws others to your sCommerce store in droves. Users can maintain a shopping list in your Facebook store that they can refer back to, or that friends can use to buy them a gift. They can enter your store, then invite friends in to virtually shop with them. It never hurts sales when a friend is there to tell the shopper, “You should definitely get that.”
Explore the sCommerce tools available to you, start getting creative when it comes to the look, design and functionality of your Facebook store, learn how to capitalize on these new user capabilities rolled out by Facebook. And while you’re at it, keep an eye on Facebook credits and the role that PayPal and eBay are most likely going to start playing in the Facebook stores arena.
But most of all…more important than any of these things…as we move into a world where buyers’ impressions of your products are instant, far-reaching, and profoundly influential, it’s becoming critical beyond measure that your products and customer service are 100% killer. More than at any time in history, customer satisfaction is becoming the lifeblood of your business.