Someone asked me this on Facebook and below is my response. Interesting discussion.
Victor H Orrego give me your appreciation: Millenials, are buying everything on FB …. What will be the future of EC strategies and sophisticated shopping carts?…will they be replaced by the informality of sales on FB?….
Yesterday I met with a client for whom we are going to design a “traditional” e-commerce store. When I inquired a little more about his business, he told me that he was currently selling other products through Facebook and that this would be a store from scratch. That she already had her domain but knew nothing about it. His current process of selling through Facebook is based on advertising his products through Facebook. The potential customer contacts him through his timeline and the deal is closed by inbox or Whatsapp: “This is the account to which you can consign. Once you consign the product is sent. Simple. Easy. Right? When I asked him about the customer database he told me he didn’t have one. And if he had a history of orders. Dry braking. Point against.
The relationship through social networks is done informally and it is not easy to register sales (which would have to be done manually), customer data, e-mail, etc. This way you lose the possibility of seeing trends, better clients, etc. And so you would not be able to do other types of strategies, such as targeted promotions or use email marketing to complement the whole strategy. Imagine if Amazon decided to sell only through Facebook. Everything you have built, your super customer recognition platform comes down.
Now, on Facebook you have no control over usability, new features you might want to put on your products, or change the design of your site.
Facebook thus becomes a sort of “Free Market” or “Ebay” but more informal, allowing many small businesses or individuals to have their “store” and not pay for something more sophisticated.
But that becomes more of a “business” and not an e-commerce company from my point of view. E-commerce well done has complex processes whose objective is precisely to advance the strategy and strengthen the brand in the long term and the relationship with its customers.
On Facebook you can be a “brand” but ultimately you are in the hands of Facebook. Let’s suppose that Mark and his friends wake up one day thinking about changing everything again. That the photos will no longer be displayed like this, or that the timeline will change and the comments will be different. Or they develop an algorithm so advanced that they can tell if someone is selling something and they will charge you per transaction. Or simply if they know you have a store they will charge you a monthly fee for having your profile. It’s not unreasonable.
Social networks are an independent Internet. That’s a fact. There is a giant mass of people moving every second over there. And it’s a giant opportunity to do business. And it’s going to continue to be done. I see this as an additional channel to the online store, of course. And you have to take advantage of it.
But doing things well in E-commerce does require a little more investment and management, if you want to have a strong base in the long term.