- Internet & the Web»
- Social Networking»
Sell Anything On Facebook – How To Sell On The Social Network
Selling on Facebook
Can you make money and earn an income through sales in the world's biggest social network Facebook? Simply put, yes you can. Facebook recently added the ability to create "timed" posts, so 2014 is potentially the biggest and most capable online community in the world, and e-commerce there just got a lot better, and easier. It boasts over 1.2 Billion accounts. It's bigger than any country, and it is still growing.
Thanks largely to companies offering better services for businesses and people, it is becoming more and more a place of easy to create eCommerce on Facebook. I found several ways of selling goods on Facebook. I am interested in how to make money on this social network, and particularly on having a Facebook Business. Just how does a person sell something on the Social Network?
Selling on Facebook may sound unusual, but there are several systems for selling things on Facebook. If the names BeeShopy, Beetailer, Shop Tab, Wildfire, ECWID and Storeya mean nothing to you, but you are interested in the concept of Facebook business, then read on to see how they all work.
Ecommerce Stores on Facebook
Facebook is more now than a social network. For most of us, we do our Facebook login and check out what our friends and acquaintances are up to, and we may modify our accounts so as to gain backlinks for our other web business, be it Hub Pages, blog, Landing page or whatever. But Facebook has for a few years now been seen as a collection of “Storefronts” (from an e-commerce point of view) but just no actual Stores on it. Facebook merely had pages with names and pictures of goods and then links or URLs to exterior websites outside Facebook.
Storefronts are where Merchants can display and show or advertise their products, and when you click on them or their “Add to Carts”, you are taken away from Facebook to the Merchant website where the actual shopping cart business takes place. Amazon is one such example. So in effect the e-commerce functionality in Facebook is implied rather than 100% actual.
What can you sell on Facebook?
Books, Music, DVDs, Videos, Subscriptions, Games, Properties, fashions, Designs, Software, Furniture, Cameras, Memberships, Dating Agencies, Forums, Charities, Cloud Storage Technology, Religions, Websites, Blogs, Domains, Financial Services, Legal Services, Public Relations Services, Security Services, Health Care Products and Services, Medicines, Insurance, Automobiles, Airplane Tickets, Holidays... and more.
Try the one button Poll on Facebook at the end of this Hub.
Pseudo shopping becomes full store shopping
The reason for this pseudo-shopping system is because Facebook want to keep people and users of the network inside the Facebook Social Network. Imagine having to rush to a bank every time you saw something in the mall you wished to buy, just to make a transaction and you’ll see the point to avoiding tedium in e-commerce on a social network. Facebook wants to keep people in the Facebook environment and so persuaded businesses and retailers with finding ways of achieving this. New ways had to be explored and found. And they succeeded.
Business on Facebook
Facebook has two good examples of storefront-only usability. One is Threadless, the other is Best Buy, and they both can integrate into Facebook social features such as sharing, commenting and Liking. (Not so far removed from what even Hub Pages offers on its pages!) except that these two systems don’t support e-commerce transactions inside Facebook.
In 2009, a company called 1-800-Flowers became the first company (powered by Alvenda) on Facebook to allow full e-commerce to take place completely inside the Social Network. Alvenda used Adobe Flash to enable its impressive store on Facebook, as it did on other stores like Brooks Brothers, Delta Airlines and others. (The actual Flash widget was located on a separate non-Facebook server. I say was, since Flash has fallen out of favor as a way to display and create such content in favor of HTML5.)
The customer sees the widget in Facebook “Chrome” thanks to a custom iFrame application. (Do not confuse these applications with the usual Facebook applications, as many do not have a business slant to them.)
Facebook Stores on your pages
Since the Facebook is built to a certain size width of so many pixels, shoppers get taken to the application canvas which sports a max width of 760 pixels. (The E-Commerce experience might see the Facebook of the future redesign its size to accommodate more shops like this, and because of the introduction of Timelines.)
Alvenda up to recent times, used Flash technology to enable this miracle. Not all devices use flash - the iPad and iPhone don't support Flash any more. (See the above note on Flash vs HTML5.)
New systems are replacing the old, as seen in the examples on this hub, as they are all working happily on Facebook, and the systems used to enable them have names like ShopTab, which powers Best Buys, and other firms.
ShopTab allows the adding of products either one-by-one individually, or by means of a data feed import, and the editing of relative product information. Searching by keywords or price range is possible, as is the sharing of individual products you find in the store. Remember Facebook Search is a powerful tool, as its search is enabled by Microsoft Bing - that can aid in finding goods and products.
Booking Airlines tickets are now possible on Facebook and Delta Airlines can keep Facebook users on Facebook with the world’s first airline ticketing system, and it looks awesome! Other companies like Wildfire are offering similar services and platforms on Facebook. Besides the Smart Phone App market, the retail store and Business Application is another of the next big growth areas on the net. And Facebook looks like it is jumping into this area in a very big way. Soon businesses will focus on marketing on Facebook.
Payvment - now Ecwid
So what about the small sole trader or person who wants to sell on Facebook, and who may have a smaller scale offering of items? This is really where I wanted to concentrate for selling books on Facebook. The solution here is PAYVMENT. This service was Free, and fully integrated inside Facebook, and yes, it was not a Flash technology, so iPad and iPhone users coould avail of it too. This was the leading shopping platform that anyone can use inside Facebook, for selling anything. PAYVMENT used the Adaptive Payments API from PayPal.
Sadly Payvment has now been taken over by Intuit and if you want a similar experience to Payvment - you should check out ECWID.
This really is state-of-the-art shopping technology thanks to the Open-Cart Network technology used, meaning that you can add other items from other businesses to your cart as you shop in Facebook (which uses the same system) and complete your purchase and payment from ANY storefront on Facebook, a totally awesome technology now within the hands and price range of anyone.
More options for Facebook customers
The Ecwid (similar to Payvment) system lets vendors fully customise goods and pages with HTML and uses TRUSTe privacy technology to protect Facebook users. I truly believe this system will become common standard for all people on Facebook, and might even some day allow people to do routine things some day like pay their Bills from within Facebook. For retailers and consumers, it supports PayPal, Google Wallet, HSBC, FEDEX, DHL and UPS shipping (including fees) and the offering of discounts (if buying bulk) or thanks to you agreeing to “Like” their page, allowing you to receive and use coupons. Being able to manage products from within the Payment Application is another great reason to use Ecwid. which is anywhere from free (sell up to 10 products freely) to paid for... again, visit their excellent website for more offers on services. This is what selling on Facebook is all about.
You can set up Ecwid on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Typepad, Weebly and any of the top main web builders.
More sales on Facebook
BeeShopy, or Beetailer is another e-commerce application platform, and allows Shopify users / Vendors / merchants to automatically import product listings on an existing store, and show them in Facebook. Even your Facebook comments can appear in your Beetailer store. Pretty neat! They support Shopify, Magento and PretaShop, and are adding BigCommerce, OS Commerce and other e-commerce platforms.
K2 is a clothing line that is sold on Facebook using the Beetailer e-commerce system. It's also compatible with Twitter. It integrates with existing stores and enables marketing tools and analytic tools to follow customer behavior. Red Bull records and Rolex Watches use Beetailer and their stores look very impressive! You can set up a FREE Beetailer store and sell 30 products on it on Facebook! And no transaction fees, so anyone can sell with no restrictions from the outset. (Or pay money for a more customizable store online if you like.)
With SplashPost, you can collect emails, promote your book, movie, music, app, software, Amazon ebook, magazine, blog, website, business or anything else here - it has 3 plans, Free, Premium and Agency. You can sell anything from right inside your Facebook Fan Newsfeed. You can use it for sponsored posts, and it's guaranteed.
By being an early adopter of Mobile platforms, Facebook has become a great place to do business online. Storeya is one name that has also done very well, however. Compatible with eBay, Amazon. Wordpress, Magento, Shopify and Prestashop - Storeya literally lets you bring any store you have online right into your Facebook account. Requiring no coding or programming skills, and including a Free Rider account which costs the seller nothing to set up on their Facebook page - this has to be a contender for easiest online store creator I have seen. This is where Social Media meets Social Commerce.
The whole e-commerce area for Facebook is expanding as more and more people use and come to trust this growing and developing technology. Facebook marketing and Facebook business is a growing area and seen as a new chapter only now being written. Since Facebook went public on the Stock Market, as more and more vendors offer their wares, it is time for smaller vendors, and content creators with something to offer the world, to set up a stall in front of North of One Billion Facebook users and begin growing their businesses too. Like our towns and villages which succumbed to the big almighty malls and super markets, it was only a matter of time before the Facebook Social Network did the same and brought us stores to shop in.
For the purists, it may be against what they want from a social network, but for people looking to business or earning from offering goods or services sold on the net, it is a Gift. Web content creators need to sit up and take notice. Compare Facebook to something like eBay and you will think there is just no comparison. But if enough stores were cleverly incorporated into Facebook, it would be a different story. If the ability to set up stores online inside the world's largest social network came at the right price, then we'd all be doing it.
The future of Facebook will continue to evolve and develop, and offer more functionality. Businesses are watching the development of Graph Search, a new way to tap into what people like on Facebook and tailor ads more successfully to what people might actually want or need. But it is Facebook more than anyone who is leading the charge here, and e-commerce has never show so much promise as it does now.
Updated March 2014. Article Copyright (c) 2010 to 2014. Cassy Mantis. All rights reserved. All brands, names and trademarks are copyright of their respective holders.
Leave me a comment on this, let me know what you think of Facebook as a place to do online shopping. Vote for this hub with twitter or Facebook too. Pin me as well! Thank you.
Quick Poll on Selling on Facebook
Have you sold goods or services on Facebook yet?
- ShopTab | Create Shop Tab on Facebook Fan Page
Set up shop tab on Facebook. Through Facebook ShopTab Business App create a shop tab on your Facebook fan page easily, quickly, and inexpensively.
- BeeShopy. Your online store on Facebook
BeeShopy is a service that allows you to integrate your existing online store with Facebook, allowing you to display your products so Facebook users can discover, comment, share, and purchase them. Get started in three easy steps.
Ecwid shopping e-commerce
- Payvment | Ecwid: E-Commerce Widgets
Hello Payvment Sellers, Welcome to Ecwid! We look forward to helping you grow your business on Facebook and anywhere else your customers wish
Interactive Promotions for Brand Marketers and the social web. Get more followers on Facebook, more newsletter signups, more business, higher ratings, grow your Business with Wildfire.