Let me first start out by stating that social media hasn't historically been a place for corporate commercialization, but if done right, can still be incorporated. Social shopping, is becoming more and more prevalent and integrated within other social media platforms.
social shopping
Facebook Community Pages are a great place to gather brand advocates, engage them, and keep them abreast with streaming news and activity. If the fans are true brand advocates they'll love the e-commerce integration you've provided for them. Otherwise, users might be annoyed if you're pushing it on them, but if it's unobtrusive it's merely an added benefit.

Here are a few Facebook applications that take e-commerce and shopping to social media:

Social E-Commerce Services

BrandMe

Creating Virtual Models for effective on-line shopping. Are you ready for the runway? Create your own 3D virtual model for women, and dress up with the latest looks.

Social Store Builder

The solution enables merchants to push their products onto social networks sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Social Store Builder is available for free to Volusion clients using the gold plan and above.

Over the last decade, e-commerce has become a highly competitive market and merchants are always looking for better ways to attract and retain customers, said Kevin Sproles, CEO and founder at Volusion. Volusion 5 with Social Store Builder gives merchants an all-in-one shopping cart solution, while allowing them to tap into the exploding social networking channels and reach consumers where they are increasingly spending their time online.

Off the Wall

Off the Wall (OTW) is the industrys leading social commerce platform"brought to you by an agency that knows consumers, not just code. The first end-to-end e-commerce experience for brands and their fans on Facebook, OTW allows retail brands to sell their merchandise through Facebook status updates. In turn, consumers securely purchase products directly from a brand without leaving the Facebook environment.

Since its debut, OTW has been implemented to great success on behalf of P&G brand Pampers and fashion retailer The Limited, among others.

The major downside is it's cost. A near $30k setup plus 8% revenue share leaves people looking for other options.

Social Shopping

MyEtsy

Creating a My Etsy tab for your Facebook profile or fan page adds an Etsy tab. Your Facebook friends and fans will be able to see and share your Etsy shop and favorites right here on Facebook.

Kaboodle

Kaboodle is the largest social shopping community on the web with over 2 million visitors a month. Make wish lists and shopping lists, compare your style with friends, get input and recommendations, and find new things youll love.

Tell your friends what you want most: an iPhone, handbag, book, a trip around the world? Choose the things you want most for your wish list, and see which of your friends are wishing for the same things.

Stylefeeder

Show off the stuff you're currently shopping for " from clothes to gadgets to furniture to music. Add items you own, like, need or want to create an expression of your personal stylenot to mention a wishlist that ensures your Facebook friends know exactly what floats your boat.

StyleFeeder allows you to keep track of your current faves while shopping online, and suggests things you might like, based on the items you've added and rated.

ShopThisNext

ThisNext is Social Shopping- product discovery and purchasing advice from your friends and trusted community experts.

MyItThings

MyItThings is created by people like you, compiled from their personal columns and virtual closets and published daily!

Deals and Coupon Sharing

Social Shopping Mall

Discover great new deals, coupons and products at your favorite online stores. You and your friends can discover and save deals to share them with each other and the community. Our stores cover the latest fashion and style trends so you can be hip and save!

Hot Deals

Hot Deals is Facebook's largest bargain shopping application. They monitor online stores and search flyers for the best prices, freebies, and coupons.

If you stumble upon a great sale while shopping, receive a coupon in the mail, log in and share the deal with your friends!

Dealza

Dealza combines all of the best deals on the web in a single click! Shop Smarter!

Social Online Retailers

Social Flowers

Social Flowers lets you buy and send real, fresh flowers to another Facebook member in the United States and Canada. Flowers are delivered by a local florist in our network of over 30,000 florists.

The sender does not need to know the recipient's delivery address but we do give the sender the option of providing a delivery address. Both the sender and recipient will never have access to each others personal information.

Threadless

Promote your Threadless submissions & earn Threadless points by promoting Threadless products!

Conclusion

Brands are slowly adopting technologies, like Off the Wall, to sell their products on Facebook. While this is dangerous ground without a fan base, brands are treading lightly with it now.

Jordan Kasteler

Jordan Kasteler is the SVP of Content Development and Managing Partner at BlueGlass, an industry leader in search engine optimization and social media marketing.

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4 Responses to “Commercializing Social Media: Facebook E-commerce and Shopping Apps”

  1. I don't think that integrated within other social media platforms is a good solution. Too many things in one place is not comfortable

  2. Phil says:

    Yes I agree we need spread of competition.

  3. Matt Quinn says:

    We've been working with etailers and brands to try and address this and come up with a product called flaunt-it.

    It enables customers to 'flaunt' their purchases to their friends at the point of purchase. The user gets to tailor the content so that it's personal (we're not looking for out-and-out ads here, just brand value referral to their friends).

    It's not intrusive and like any other post is the user letting their friends know about something they've done / bought / tried. The benefit to the brand is that they capture a little information about who's flaunting their products and the post links back to their site or even directly to the page where the friend can buy the product for themselves.

    It can be incentivised (e.g. issue coupons for future purchases) and/or used as a sales promotional redemption mechanic.

    Using Microsoft's Tag we can also integrate flaunt-it into real world transactions and behaviours enabling customers to flaunt real-world purchases and/or enter competitions or sign up for coupons by responding to a print / billboard or magazine article.

    It's piloting with a couple of brands at the moment and we'd welcome thoughts and feedback.

  4. Hi Jordan,

    That's an impressive list. I wonder how to found all these? The search on Facebook for apps is useless – well I think so anyway!

    Cheers