May 24

Is it worth opening a Facebook Shop?

Thinking of starting a Facebook Shop? Is it really worth it?

I attended a talk yesterday organised through Dublin City Enterprise Board on the topic of selling through Ebay. It was quite a basic talk on the topic but it would seem that some of those present found it pretty beneficial all the same.

What annoyed me somewhat is when one of the speakers encouraged people to open a Facebook shop! Over the last 18 months I have done quite a lot of research on Facebook shops. Many of the so-called “social media experts”  are encouraging this practice and I have asked many of them to name one Irish business which is successfully selling through this channel. 18 Months on I’m still waiting for someone to give me even one example of a success story. I genuinely hope there is one out there but I suspect there is none.

Unlike Ebay you got to remember people don’t tend to log on to their Facebook account with a view to buying. They generally go there to catch up with friends or let the world know what they are doing at that particular moment in time.

Founder of Hunch.com, Chris Dixon sums it up quite well “Facebook is like Starbucks everyone hangs out there for hours but they buy nothing” Incidentally Hunch.com was recently acquired by ebay which I guess elevates the value of his opinion.

Now I’m not for a second suggesting that having a Facebook page for your business is not of value as it certainly has merit but why bother wasting time and effort on installing a shop and adding all your products and working out the right shipping prices for all the different countries? If it doesn’t work out it will just leave you deflated so avoid it useless you feel you got absolutely no other route to the online market.

Follow the Leaders with your Facebook Strategy

Macy’s in New York is the world’s largest store. At the time of writing they got 5.6 Million fans of their facebook page and its quite a busy place. They don’t have a shop though instead they use their facebook page to direct traffic to macys.com website.

On a more local level one of my favourite Irish facebook pages is that of Hairybaby.com. These guys really know how to interact with their audience. Currently they have over 27,500 fans but no shop. They tend to post links with a brief message on facebook informing fans of latest T-Shirt designs, special offers and so on. This gives the visitor the option to click through and read more if they so wish or ignore completely if it is not of interest to them

Conclusions on the Facebook Shop

If the big boys have decided not to implement it then it’s unlikely that there is much merit in you doing it either.

Hey but it would be nice if you give our facebook page a like all the same!

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