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  • Facebook eCommerce / F-Commerce Solutions for your Fan Page


    Many brands are enjoying increased traffic and engagement on their Facebook Pages. Some might be wondering how to connect this thriving community with their online stores.

    There are many available options for Facebook eCommerce (aka “F-Commerce”) and, although we don’t cover every Facebook eCommerce solution, we have included the most popular offerings and those that exemplify the various approaches to Facebook eCommerce.

    What should you look for in a Facebook eCommerce solution?

    Finding the best Facebook eCommerce solution will mean comparing several elements, all of which we will cover as we profile each eCommerce application and merchant:

    • Pricing
    • Where does browsing happen (on a tab or a canvas app)?
    • Is the Facebook application a stand-alone shop or part of an existing eStore platform?
    • How much custom design is allowed?
    • Compatibility with popular technologies (read: Dependence on Flash)

    Facebook Store Front vs. Facebook eStore

    One of the most important questions to ask is where do the transactions actually happen? This is how we will organize the different applications and platform in this post, first presenting apps that are simply “Store Fronts” and then identifying the platforms that offer a fully functional “Facebook eStore.”


    Facebook Store Front Options

    (Users can browse products and click “Buy” or “Add to Cart” — They are then redirected to your eCommerce site to complete the transaction)

    These applications are essentially portfolios of your store’s products, not really stores at all. A user can browse your products but when they click “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” they will be taken to your eCommerce website to complete the transaction.

    If you already have eCommerce on your website and you want to use a Facebook Store Front to drive traffic to your online store, here are some options:

    • Miva Merchant
    • Beetailer
    • Fliptabify
    • BigCommerce
    • ShopTab

    Miva Merchant — an Established eCommerce Brand

    Pick products from your existing Miva Merchant store to display on a Facebook tab. You are essentially driving traffic to your website. The tab layout is clean and simple in the default template so your product images do all of the talking.

    Pricing: $199 Default template / $399 Custom Template
    Connected to Online Store? For use with a Miva Merchant store only
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab
    Design Customization: Pay more for customization

    Example:

    Walleye Direct

     

    Beetailer – “Bring your store to Facebook”

    Beetailer offers both Store Front and full fCommerce services. Integrate your existing online store with this Facebook app and the actual purchase happens on your site. Or keep users on your Facebook Page to conduct the entire transaction. Compatible with various existing eCommerce platforms. Try it out free for 30 days and see if you like the features.

    Pricing: First tier is free, with additional tiers for $50/$100/$300 per month (learn more)
    Connected to Online Store? “Currently we support Magento, Magento Go, Shopify and Prestashop, and choosing the option Custom Store, you can create your Facebook Store even if you do not have any of these platforms.”
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab
    Design Customization: Yes. See examples and contact them for more info.

    Examples:

    Nirvana
    Sendra boots

    Nirvana

    Sendra Boots

     

    Fliptabify– The Shopify eCommerce Platform Facebook Store

    If you use the Shopify store software on your website, use the Fliptabify app on Facebook to offer a mini store tab to fans. This store is for browsing products only.

    Pricing: Basic is free with Shopify, The Power Plan is $11.99/mo
    Connected to Online Store? Yes, Shopify
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab
    Design Customization: More customization if you pay:

    “Additionally the Power Plan lets you:

    • Enable Like-Gating to increase the number of Likes on your Facebook Page
    • Choose which collections to show on Facebook (including hidden collections)
    • Choose the default collection to display when users visit your Facebook store
    • Select the number of products to display per page”

    Example:

    Bont Cycling gear

     

    SocialShop2 — by BigCommerce. Integrate with existing BigCommerce Stores

    Another simple shop for displaying your products on a Facebook tab. Built-in Facebook social plugins like the Recommend button allow shoppers to share their favorite products with friends.

    Pricing: Free with BigCommerce plans. Starting at 24.95/month (learn more).
    Connected to Online Store? Yes, must be a BigCommerce Customer
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab
    Design Customization: Not much

    Example:

    Trice Jewelers

     

    ShopTab – “Turn your Facebook Fan Page into a sales showcase”

    Display items in a Store Tab but users are re-directed to your website in order to actually purchase products. More expensive packages include the option to fan-gate your store.

    Pricing: Starting at $10/month (learn more)
    Connected to Online Store? No, use your own online store platform
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab
    Design Customization: Yes

    Examples:

    HerRoom
    Fiji

    HerRoom

    Fiji


    Facebook eStores

    (Users conduct the entire eCommerce transaction within Facebook.)

    These applications keep users on Facebook, allowing them to actually complete transactions — payment and all — without leaving Facebook. Some apps redirect the user to a Canvas App Page (away from the company’s Fan Page), and others require the shopper to accept a permissions request (the Facebook “Allow” popup dialog) before they are allowed to shop.

    When to go with a Facebook eStore solution

    If your goal is to keep users on your Facebook Page (or at least within the Facebook environment), then you should consider these options which are great for gaining more Facebook fans, especially if a Like is required in the shopping process.

    Also, if you don’t already have an eCommerce-enabled website, then a stand-alone Facebook eStore may be a great option for you to sell your products.

    We checked the following Facebook eStore solutions:

    • 8th Bridge
    • Milyoni
    • Payvment
    • Intuit SimpleStore
    • TabJuice
    • ShopIgniter

     

    8th bridge — Previously called “Alvenda”

    8th Bridge allows you to sell your products directly in their canvas application, or connect a tab on your Facebook Page to your own online store. Based on the example Clients that have listed on their site, this application seems to be very flexible and customizable. In most examples it looks like a custom tab on your Fan Page serves as a landing page that drives shoppers to Canvas App where they can complete transactions.

    AN ADVISORY ABOUT FLASH: The 8th Bridge application depends on Flash for its functionality. This means that users trying to view your 8th Bridge store on any Apple device (iPad, iPhone or iTouch) will not be able to see or use your eStore. Everything we think about Flash can really be summed up here: Thoughts on Flash by Steve Jobs.

    And in November 2010, Adobe announced it would abandon mobile flash development, nudge developers to the Adobe Air platform and wholeheartedly back what had been a rival approach — HTML5. (Read the Wired article.)

    So think twice about using any eCommerce solution that depends on Flash for its key functionality. You’ll be eliminating tens of millions of users who increasingly use iPads to access the Web and make purchases.

    Pricing: Contact Sales for more info
    Connected to Online Store? Connect to your online store OR use their eCommerce platform
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab and Canvas App
    Design Customization: Very customizable

    Examples:

    Delta Airlines
    1-800-Flowers

    Delta Airlines

    1-800-Flowers

     

    Milyoni — “The Leader in F-Commerce”

    This app displays products on a custom tab, directly on your Facebook Page, but when users click to view a product they are taken to a canvas app and must give the app permission to access personal information.

    “The fan experience with the Facebook Store features personalization, social interaction and familiar shopping cart functionality. By leveraging information from the Facebook profile, merchants can create a personal mix of products in the store upon fan entry. Fans are given options throughout to share their shopping experience with friends, family and other fans. The Facebook Store from Milyoni can scale up to 75,000 items with unlimited number of categories.”

    Pricing: Request a Quote
    Connected to Online Store? Full “fCommerce” store
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Both
    Design Customization: Yes

    Example:

    French Connection UK

     

    Payvment – “Connect people, products, and conversations”

    Users pay for goods directly on Facebook tab. Users must authorize the application before purchase. This fills in some personal information fields for the shopper, which is handy. Encourages users to share their activity with friends as they shop.

    Pricing: First tier of service is Free, with 2 higher paid tiers (see more).
    Connected to Online Store? No, this application is stand-alone.
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab
    Design Customization: They appear to have an open API with support for developers (learn more).

    Examples:

    Adult Swim
    Molly Sims Jewelry

    Adult Swim

    Molly Sims Jewelry

    SimpleStore – by Intuit

    Use Intuit’s eCommerce platform and add their Facebook store app to your page. The example store we found is an iFrame that appears to be pulling in a store that is too wide for the 520px maximum width of Page tabs. So it’s not very user friendly. This could be a bug or just an error on the part of the Page admin.

    Pricing: “SimpleStore on Facebook is a free feature for all SimpleStore with Intuit Web Payment customers.”
    Connected to Online Store? Yes, connected to Intuit’s eCommerce platform (30-day free trial, $34.98/month thereafter)
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab
    Design Customization: Does not appear to be customizable

    Example:

    Arin Madison bows

    TabJuice– “Complete eCommerce solution for Facebook.”

    Purchase products directly on a Facebook tab through a secure checkout. This is a great app, without any visible scroll-bars, and no transfer to a canvas app. Using the app to browse products and add items to cart was easy. Seamless user experience.

    Pricing: Free
    Connected to Online Store? It can be, but TabJuice also offers eCommerce solutions for companies without online stores.
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Tab only.
    Design Customization: Yes. Pick background images and color schemes.

    Example:

    DesignerSocial

    ShopIgniter — “Engage customers through social promotions, storefronts and rewards programs”

    ShopIgniter offers several programs to merchants that want to do more than just sell products. Reward your fans for purchasing and sharing. Track sales with analytics. The list goes on!

    User experience: In order to see products on your Page Tab the user must allow the app to access their personal information. But after that they can browse and purchase products directly on your Facebook tab.

    Pricing: Must request a demo to get pricing. Info not available on website.
    Connected to Online Store? You can connect to existing platform if desired.
    On Page Tab or Canvas App? Both Tab and Canvas App available
    Design Customization: Lots of customization available.

    Examples:

    Alima
    Kaenon

    Alima

    Kaenon

    Which Facebook eCommerce / fCommerce is right for you?

    One of the key aspects of a Facebook application is the built-in Facebook Sharing and Liking functionality. That could be the subject of a whole separate post!

    Many of the above eCommerce solutions have the option of adding a Like or Recommend button to your store. If your goal is to gain new fans through the social shopping process, keep this in mind. When picking a platform make sure that you know your goals, and find the store that best meets those needs.

    We would love to hear your opinions on Facebook eCommerce in the comments to this post. Tell us about your experience with these Facebook shopping platforms, or others that we left out.

    Comments

    1. What do you think about this solution? http://bit.ly/ysphdk – A simple HTML5 FB Shop with Paypal integration. Create an app, add a tab to your page. If you don’t have a hosting site, we can help you out there as well.

    2. Analisa,

      Thank you for the mention. Just one thing, Beetailer provide you both ways to sell on Facebook

      Facebook Store Front Options*

      (Users can browse products and click “Buy” or “Add to Cart” —
      They are then redirected to your eCommerce site to complete the
      transaction)

      *Beetailer replicate the shopping cart behavior and then redirect users to the checkout step with the shopping cart full, so our solution would be an hybrid solution.

      and

      Facebook eStores

      (Users conduct the entire eCommerce transaction within Facebook.)

      With our Custom Store merchants can sell directly inside Facebook.

      Regarding the customization, I think we offer a huge customization options. Please see some examples. Merchants can customize the store including Free plan, or we can do it on their behalf as a service.

      http://www.beetailer.com/pages/themes

      Cheers,

      Laura

    3. Thanks Laura, I appreciate the corrections! I will change the post to reflect this information. I mostly looked at the example sites that I could find for each retailer, so thanks for pointing out the more customized versions.

    4. Hey guys her in Brasil you can use http://www.facebook.com/curtirecomprar to sell on Facebook 

    5. MDDesigns says:

      I enjoyed your article. I thought I would mention that TabJuice does not provide customer service. When I tried to contact them about our store not working I received the following:

      “Thanks for contacting us. Unfortunately, at this time we havediscontinued our ongoing support for the TabJuice product. Customerscan continue to use the platform free of charge, but we will no longerbe able to address support issues that arise. If you would like todiscontinue your use of the product, go to Settings > My Account(edit) and click Cancel Account.Thanks again for trying TabJuice and best of luck with any of yourfuture social ecommerce ventures.”

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