Ruth Mortimer’s column on the acceleration of ’Facebook commerce’ generated a wide-ranging debate. Read the column online at mwlinks.co.uk/ RuthFCommerce and see comment extracts below.
Facebook commerce is merely a new sales channel. The question it does pose well, however is what will be the sales channels of the future – ie, as we see more consumer goods move into online, will there be a traditional retail front? l A thought for user perception of security on Facebook – US banks have begun allowing users to view account data via their Facebook page.
While this might sound lovely for brands, what will the experience be like for us lowly users and the relationship we want to have with Facebook?
There is a contradiction here though. The article begins with a proposition that the consumer seeks instant gratification. However, online provides only part of the gratification process. This is not fulfilled until the goods arrive, which in most cases can be achieved easier and quicker through traditional retail shopping. What Facebook does provide is a way to seek peer approval and gratification that your purchase may provide through ’sharing’ your purchase.
In my opinion, this is a dilution of the host brand Facebook. This was established as a social platform to share thoughts and ideas and now is extending its model into a commercial market to become a shopping portal. I am unsure what consumers will make of the ’shop’ platform, however. I for one prefer to maintain my connection with a brand directly rather than through a third party.
While we’re happy with e-commerce via Facebook, will UK users go further and adopt banking apps? The industry-leading First Direct (HSBC Group), NatWest and Lloyds TSB have all upped their game of late and are obvious candidates to experiment. But would you feel comfortable ’F-banking’?
I go on the site to catch up with friends, and an abundance of commercialisation is likely to drive me away.
The cynic in me thinks this is a ploy to drive perceived value up for when it issues an IPO, knowing that in four to five years’ time it might well implode.