How to Sell Products via Your Facebook Page

social media how toEver wished you could directly sell your products and services from within Facebook? If so, this post is for you.

I decided to dig in and research the current landscape thoroughly, both to better understand the lay of the land and to save you the research hassle.

It was only a matter of time before Facebook and e-commerce would converge. Until a little over a year ago, only storefronts existed on Facebook, where merchants could display and promote their products and, with “Add to cart” buttons, imply e-commerce functionality.

But when users clicked on “Add to cart, they were whisked away from Facebook to the merchant’s website where the actual shopping-cart experience occurred.

Almost There: Storefronts, but Not Stores

Two prominent examples of storefront-only functionality on Facebook are Threadless and Best Buy, both of which include great integration with Facebook’s social features (sharing, commenting, liking), but don’t support e-commerce transactions within Facebook.

Best Buy’s storefront is powered by BigCommerce’s “SocialShop” application, which allows merchants to display products on their Facebook page and offers the user many options for viewing products and information.

best buy

Although it appears so, the user can't actually buy on the Best Buy Facebook page. Clicking the "Shop Now" button takes you to Best Buy's e-commerce website, also powered by BigCommerce.

threadless

Similarly, on the Threadless page, clicking on "Add to cart" takes you to their website where the actual e-commerce begins.

I should also mention ShopTab, another popular storefront application, which lets Page admins handle everything on Facebook — adding products, either individually or via a data feed import, as well as editing product information. Users can search by price range or keywords, and can also share individual products. The women’s lingerie company HerRoom uses ShopTab:

HerRoom

ShopTab costs $10 - $20 per month, depending on the number of products.

Real Facebook e-Commerce Arrives

On July 8, 2009, the first complete e-commerce experience appeared on Facebook when 1-800-Flowers premiered its Facebook store, powered by Alvenda. For the first time, users could conduct an entire sales transaction without ever leaving the Facebook environment. Although not a fully integrated Facebook experience, the Alvenda approach heralded the arrival of real shopping on Facebook.

It’s been only a little over a year since the 1-800-Flowers Facebook shop appeared and still there aren’t a lot of choices for applications that allow the entire shopping experience to occur on Facebook. But we can certainly expect more and better applications to come online in the coming months and years.

Here are the ones I think are the current best in show. If anyone feels I’ve missed one, feel free to use the comments to let me know.

Alvenda

alvendaAlvenda utilizes Adobe Flash to create its functionality for its many customers which include 1-800-Flowers, Delta Airlines and Brooks Brothers. The Flash “widget” is actually located on a non-Facebook server and is pulled into the Facebook “chrome” via a custom Facebook iFrame application.

1-800-Flowers

On the 1-800-Flowers page, when the visitor clicks on the “Shop” tab, a graphic is presented that introduces the visitor to the “Facebook Shoplet” and encourages her to “click right in” to start shopping.

Upon clicking the “Start shopping” button, the visitor is taken to 1-800-Flowers’ Alvenda-powered Facebook application where the e-commerce begins.

1800 flowers

The remainder of the e-commerce transaction occurs on this application page.

(The reason for taking the user to the application page and away from the Facebook page is to get the wider application canvas page where the maximum width is 760 pixels, compared to 520 pixels on a page tab.)

Delta Ticket Window

Another groundbreaking Facebook e-commerce event was Alvenda’s development of “Ticket Window,” Delta Airlines’ Facebook-based ticketing system, which premiered in August 2010.

delta ticket window

Unlike the 1-800-Flowers Facebook application, the Delta Ticket Window keeps the user on the page's "Book a Trip" tab. This was the first Facebook-based airline ticketing system, and it's pretty cool.

Alvenda’s Dependence on Flash

Although we have to give Alvenda and 1-800-Flowers kudos for getting there first, there is one drawback to the Alvenda experience: The entire e-commerce widget — which is contained in the iFrame — is built in Flash. This means that the many millions of users accessing the site via their iPhones, iTouches or iPads won’t be able to use the shopping feature, as Apple does not allow Flash to run on its mobile and tablet devices.

As more of these Apple products are sold, and they are selling like hotcakes, this will increasingly be a drawback to using Alvenda. However, in order to compensate for this, I’m certain many merchants (Alvenda’s customers tend to be larger enterprises) plan to develop applications for these devices (1-800-Flowers already has).

Alvenda is a commercial product and they don’t provide costs on their website, so it’s probably not cheap.

Flash-Free and Totally Integrated Facebook e-Commerce Applications

Fortunately for many small businesses, there are a couple of Facebook applications available that are free, fully integrated into the Facebook experience, and don’t rely on Flash.

Overall, I consider these applications the better option for smaller merchants who still wish to sell their products and services on Facebook, fully integrate with Facebook’s social features and not have to rely on developing special applications to reach the millions of people using Apple devices.

Using Payvment for a Shopping Experience

payvment In terms of real integration with Facebook, as well as cost (it’s free) and technology (it’s not a Flash application), Payvment is the one to beat. It is considered the leading shopping platform inside Facebook.

Payvment utilizes PayPal’s “Adaptive Payments” API to provide what I think is the most fully integrated Facebook shopping experience to date. Payvment’s feature set is pretty amazing, including full integration with Facebook and a seamless Facebook experience, product search, Facebook-wide shopping cart system (their “Open Cart Network” technology) that enables customers to complete their purchase from any storefront on Facebook, ability to customize with HTML, and TRUSTe privacy.

This is pretty amazing — Payvment transforms Facebook into a gigantic department store where users can keep their purchases with them across thousands of Payvment-powered storefronts on Facebook and do the checkout at any point.

Payvment also features support for FedEx and UPS automatic shipping calculations, as well as the ability for retailers to provide instant discounts and coupons to users who “Like” their page.

Also, and importantly, once you have simply added the Payvment application to your page, you can add and manage your products right within the application.

I checked out a few Facebook pages that are using Payvment, including Adult Swim UK, Grayce by Molly Sims (Jewelry) and Orglamix Cosmetics.

When you add the Payvment application to your Page, it adds a tab titled “Shop Now.”

orglamix

As you can see, the payment interface definitely has the Facebook look and feel, and the entire experience feels and is very Facebook-centric.

Payvment is just coming up on its one-year anniversary (it launched in October 2009), and I’d say it has the edge at this point, particularly with merchants with budgets smaller than companies like 1-800-Flowers or Delta Airlines!

BeeShopy Is Another Shopping Option

bee shopyIn researching this article, I thought the runner-up to Payvment was BeeShopy, which distinguishes itself from Payvment by pointing out that it will automatically import product listings on your existing store (if it’s built on Shopify!) and display them on Facebook. Although only Shopify and Magento stores are currently supported, BeeShopy promises that BigCommerce, OS Commerce and other e-commerce platforms are “on the way.”

Top K2 and My Vanity Shoes are good examples of how BeeShopy looks and functions.

top 2k

As I mentioned at the top, please share any applications that you think also deserve mention in this new space.

What do you think? Have you used Facebook to sell your products? If so, leave your thoughts and comments in the box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Tim Ware

Tim Ware is the owner of HyperArts, a San Francisco Bay Area Web development company that also specializes in Facebook custom tabs and application development. Other posts by »




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  • http://barbaraling.com/ Barbara Ling

    ‘Buy now’ from WITHIN Facebook – awesomely smart.

    For solopreneurs, I’d simply use FBML to create a page that incorporates your own sites’ Buy Now ability (downside is that does take the person off the page, but you could always pop up a target=_new for that so they don’t leave your original Facebook Fan Page).

    The opportunities are limitless once you start to think about such ideas….

  • http://imranhunzai.com Imran Hunzai

    hmm nice one

  • Strategietechno (Lucio)

    I recently discovered an other great app for Facebook. It is demandforce.

  • http://logyourmemory.com Kristin Rutten

    I was under the impression that direct selling on Facebook was against the Facebook’s policies. Can you elaborate on that for me?

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Hi Kristin. It’s fine to sell products on Facebook. I’m not sure where you got that impression.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Good point, Barbara. The value added by these apps is creating all the functionality for you. Obviously the downside is the limited control over the presentation. Threadless actually doesn’t appear to use any app for their storefront. It’s just a pulldown-select form and the fb:comments FBML tag for the Like features.

  • http://www.splashtab.com Evan Johnson

    I have a hard time trusting ecommerce transactions right inside Facebook. It IS possible to do it securely, and I’m sure these companies strive for PCI compliance, but since Tabs are loaded up in iFrames the whole page isn’t actually encrypted with SSL. You have to trust that your data is encrypted properly with the Flash apps, you can’t just SEE the SLL lock icon in your browser.

    The product I’m working on, http://splashtab.com, doesn’t allow complete transactions within Facebook, but it provides some great ways to drive sales even so. We offer templates for Deal of the Day, Coupon, Special Offer and many other landing tabs that drive users over to your regular website (like the storefront apps). If you already have an ecommerce site setup it’s easy to just log in to SplashTab and create links over to your secure webstore. You can promote your products with custom text, images and video tailored to your Facebook audience. Check us out (we have a free trial!).

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Outstanding post, Tim!! Another storefront app I’ve heard great reports about is Ecwid. http://www.facebook.com/ecwid

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Kristin, I wonder if you might be referring to Facebook’s Terms of Use regards our personal profiles – Facebook do stipulate we’re not to use profiles for commercial purposes and the example they give is “selling your status update to an advertiser” which is, of course, blatant commerce.

    However, (fan) Pages were created for the primary purpose of business use, which includes marketing, selling, promoting etc. Do keep in mind when it comes to contests/sweepstakes, that’s where you have to be very careful and adhere to Facebook’s TOS (get written permission and/or use a third party app and/or meet their minimum ad spend).

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Evan, I totally get your point. That’s the problem with Facebook e-commerce … even though transactions are secure (at least with the apps I surveyed), the user doesn’t see the “https” in the address bar, so can’t be certain that it actually IS secure. The final transaction, where credit card info is input, is always done away from Facebook, on an https page.

    So what all these apps are competing to accomplish is the most INTEGRATED experience and the most features. And, as I said, so far Payvment looked to be accomplishing this as good or better than anyone. The interface isn’t as slick as, say, Alvenda, but it’s Flash-free (thus viewing on the many millions of Apple devices) and feature rich.

    I’ll definitely check out your SplashTab app.

  • http://logyourmemory.com Kristin Rutten

    Thanks so much for the clarification Mari!! I have been very leery of doing anything related to sales on my biz page, even though it is a biz page. I think a lot of people do not understand the distinction between the two, especially when you throw in the contest part. Your explanation helps a lot. :)

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Great article Tim.

    I agree that Facebook Fan Pages is more a storefront then a actual store. Some brand has utilized some really cool call-to-action strategies on their Facebook Fan Pages.

    One brand in the Hotel Family that I think have done a brilliant job on their call-to-action is my friends from Sheraton. You find them at:

    http://www.facebook.com/SheratonHotelsandResorts?v=app_142293612465445

    Here you will see a brilliant combination of several different call-to-action buttons. First they start focus on a more soft trigger are like fitness and health. Then comes where you can share a gift with your friends or family. And last call-to-action is a direct call-to-action. Really clever.

    I really liked how you had provided us with a variety of call-to-actions here on Facebook. Have to check out on some of these suggestions.

    Cheers.. Are :)

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Awesome post Tim. I do have a question. Why is it important for the shopping experience to be integrated with Facebook? I think the answer is going to be is that most folks who would shop on FB wouldn’t want to leave Facebook because they are inexperienced in the ways of online commerce. And comps that sell on FB want to cater exactly to those types of users.

    Is there another answer that Im not aware of?

    In other words, I dont mind, I in fact prefer, to be whisked away to an SSLed website with trusted certificate authority signed page and so on…

    Great low down, thnx for your research :-)

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Thanks Mari! Perhaps I’ll do a follow-up post and review the ones I missed in this post. Hmmm. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/erigsby Emily Rigsby
  • Linda Landig

    I sell artisan jewelry through ArtFire. They have a Facebook app called ArtFire Kiosk. Its a tab on my FB page. I think it allows for more spontaneous purchases. For example, I’ll post a picture of a pair of earrings on my FB page that someone really likes. They don’t have to reason with themselves over “should I or should I not go to the webstore and buy these now”. There’s the tab right in front of them and they don’t even have to leave my page. The sale comes more easily now. Cool!

  • Paddyfarren

    I have set up a couple of shops but not one sale Have I made from facebook ?

  • Evanhp

    Well after looking in to Payvment there is a big drawback. The app follows your user name and not your fan pages. So if you have multiple fan pages there is no way to separate different stores. It will show all items in your store across every page you install it on. Any suggestions or anyone have any new insights?

  • http://twitter.com/Shoutlet Shoutlet

    Shopping is a social activity, and adding it to Facebook lets retailers give customers another channel for engaging with each other about their products. Tools that build Facebook storefronts that also include the ability to share items and ask friends’ opinions encourage this and help users pass-along your items. Our “Shop & Share” feature at Shoutlet http://shoutlet.com/features/shopandshare.php does this – but it also integrates with other Shoutlet features such as media players, sign-up widgets, and slide-shows. Product links in Facebook drive to the product page on the client’s website, which helps drive traffic to their website and also allows shoppers to be protected by the company’s own checkout security measures.

    Facebook shopping will gear up even more for holiday, too, and we’re looking at holiday 2010 as a turning point for social commerce overall.

    David Prohaska
    VP, Marketing
    Shoutlet

  • Rachel Biel

    I have an Etsy shop with its app on my business page. It shows a page of what I have listed on Etsy. You do leave the site to purchase something, having to go through the Etsy check out system. Then, I recently listed a few things on payvment and so far, have had no bites. It’s frustrating not to be able to track whether items are being seen or if they are generating any traffic. I wish we had more control over the tabs so that they would stay in place. They often get pushed over randomly so that you have to look in the arrow one to see what else is listed.

    Facebook has been saying for awhile that it is going to get rid of the app tabs on our pages and I am wondering how this is going to affect the apps I use, such as etsy, payvment and networked blogs. Do you know anything about that?

  • Alicia

    Great article. You mentioned the difficulties of running contests,etc. We are currently running a very successful guessing contest with a nice prize. We utilized the Wildfireapp.com program that has been blessed by Facebook. Check out our contest at http://www.facebook.com/#!/iTriage

  • nwrann

    I JUST created a store yesterday (http://www.facebook.com/houseofushermovie) using payvment after reading about FB commerce in website magazine. The setup was extremely easy and I like being able to give my FB fans a discount. Reading your article was a nice assurance that I made the right choice

    I also have a web store setup through flyingcart (http://houseofusher.flyingcart.com) that works pretty well but has some limitations. My flyingcart site has 68 fans and the FB site has 600 so it’s easier to see which has a bigger, semi-captive audience.

  • http://designdamage.com designdamage

    Great post Tim! I’m going to look into Payvment although I’ve also heard good things about Wildfire.

    I agree with Barbara, I’ve recently helped a client to deploy a simple Facebook Shop tab via FBML.

    We simply create images for each products category then link place them inside a html table then link them directly to the store’s page. In fact, you can really do a lot of creative things to drill down and link back and forth if you like all for free!

    It’s a lot of work but once it’s done, it’s easy to switch up the content for promotions etc…

  • http://www.yourvirtualwizard.com YourVirtualWizard/JanineGregor

    I installed Shop Tab for a client on her Facebook page. I’d say it was a medium level project to do so. It was tedious uploading each individual item and then typing/copying in descriptions for each product. In other words, there was no mass upload feature (at least at the time I worked on it).

    Also the user was taken from the FB page to the owner’s website which could be both a bad and a good thing. Bad-thing if the customer wanted to return to the FB page and good-thing if the customer was certain about what they wanted to purchase so they could do it just from the website. But if the customer wanted to return back to the FB page, it could be confusing.

    I also didn’t view Shop Tab as a something interactive within the FB business page. It just ‘sat’ on the site. I thought it would be great if comments and posts could be connected to the FB page from the Shop Tab so that customers could make comments much the same that someone would if they posted a photo. There was no way to ‘take a product out’ of shop tab and give it further exposure to the fans on that page through conversational posts or the newsfeed.

    Janine Gregor
    Marketing Virtual Assistant

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    You’re right, Evan. Just one storefront per user profile, which they say they WILL be changing, but who knows when. There is a discussion about this here. I’ll check to see if the same limitation exists for other similar storefront applications.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    I’m really glad to see a great discussion here about the pros and cons of the apps I featured in this article and those I didn’t include. You folks are all contributing to a fine discussion! More comments that include personal experience with the apps is certainly welcome.

  • Richard

    Excellent post. We sell online aboutcanada.ca and (following the advice of the ongoing Success Summit) are bringing product information on to the liked welcome tab aboutCanadaBanff) to enable link back to the shopping cart.

    However to me it makes sense to follow both routes, in order to provide to those that don’t want to follow external links but may make an impulse buy from facebook.

  • http://www.webdesignability.com/ Terry Dunn

    Tim,

    Excellent research. I can see a lot of work has gone into this article and I enjoyed reading it. Payvment looks good, and it’s free. Amazing.

    Terry

  • Miron Briley
  • Ryan Cohn

    We’ve been quite a fan of Campus Special for our restaurant clients in college towns. Their app provides full restaurant to-go ordering from within Facebook.

    Example: http://www.facebook.com/Thecrepevine?v=app_7146470109

    Ryan Cohn
    What’s Next Marketing

  • http://twitter.com/ChasVon Brad Rossini

    Another good example: http://www.facebook.com/theSlanket. They have a “New Slankets” tab featuring new designs in which fans can leave comments, click the photo which directs them to the website, or click Add-to-shopping-cart to add the product to the shopping cart on their website. Really nice layout on Facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ShopTab ShopTab on Facebook

    Janine, great suggestions on the commenting feature! We are going to look into that idea which would definitely make the experience more engaging. We did add the share feature to make it easy for customers to share products or services on their wall and that is definitely helping but commenting would take it to the next level.

    FYI, ShopTab does have a data feed feature and we just launched an automated data feed option so ShopTab can rebuild your tab for you by just giving a link to your data feed file automatically weekly (and very soon daily) for those eCommerce sites that change pricing and inventory frequently. Most eCommerce systems have an export feature that allows you to feature your products on platforms like Google Base. ShopTab was built off the same concept so with a few minor tweaks to your Google Base data feed you can have your ShopTab up and running in a few minutes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ShopTab ShopTab on Facebook

    Tim, really appreciate the amount of time you obviously took in creating this post. Of course we love that ShopTab was included too. ;-) Every business has unique needs and the rapidly increasing trend around social commerce is creating amazing and innovative options. 2011 is going to be an exciting year.

  • Sebok Joanne

    Great article Tim, Thanks JO

  • sally267

    Great article, and I’ve enjoyed reading the comments. I have two questions about setting up a FB fan page that I hope someone can help me with:

    - is it possible to set up a FB fan page with a group that has an exclamation mark at the end of it. (e.g. Dogs Are Great!) I registered one about a year ago but for some reason FB won’t let me do it now.

    - is it possible to administer more than one FB fan page? I just created a second one, but when I click on the status update it takes me to my original fan page.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Sally, You can experiment to see if you can use punctuation in a name. If you can’t, you won’t be able to :)

    I’m not aware of any limit to the number of pages a user can admin.

  • http://twitter.com/mattccompton mattccompton

    We believe enabling the transaction inside of a social network like Facebook is just the beginning – it must be coupled with activities/technology that activate your network. And we have customers proving this out.

    A business must couple their Facebook store with some of the more social activities that you mention, sharing specials and coupons, private or limited time sales, rewarding and incenting behavior with loyalty points and/or social badging/statuses. These are all activities that help you optimize social networks – turning customers into advocates and driving loyalty. That leads to revenue through social eCommerce.

    We believe transactions driven through the social network, with these new dynamics, can be more valuable. We have customers that are more actively leverage these dynamics through our Social Promotions Engine, coupled with our Facebook store – and the average customer value through Facebook transactions is 15-20% higher, along with some other interesting stats pointing to a transaction of a different nature.

  • http://www.livyahyarnblog.com sriga

    Thanks Tim,

    I never realized that all of this was going on with Facebook.

  • nchou

    Interesting! Now can someone give me a sense for how much technical knowledge/savvy is required for a typical small business owner who barely figured out how to sign up for a Facebook account and set up a business profile/fan page?

    I realize agencies can help. But, I’d like to have a sense of how realistic is it for a small business owner to do this by himself?

    Thx – Nancy

  • http://WilloLovesYou.com/ Willo O’Brien

    Hi Tim,

    Great summary of all the options for selling products/having a store on Facebook!

    Another that’s well worth including is the Storenvy Store Tab:
    http://bit.ly/storetab

    You can read a summary of some of the newest features on this blog post:
    http://blog.storenvy.com/2010/08/16/storenvy-facebook-app-updates-get-more-sales-with-fan-only-discount-codes-and-more/

    But it’s also had a few great reviews on AllFacebook & AppBistro, too:
    http://www.allfacebook.com/social-shopping-facebook-2010-10
    http://appbistro.com/products/the-storenvy-store-tab

    Here’s my Storenvy store on my FB page: http://www.facebook.com/WilloToons

    Being the Social Media Examiners that you are, you’ll love Storenvy – it’s a social shopping community!
    ~ Willo

    p.s. I love the theme you have on your blog! The little safari guy is adorable.

  • Billie

    I set up a shop tab with payvment on our page http://www.facebook.com/ohbabymaternityandinfant a few days ago. although no bites yet our fans have been commenting and it’s all positive. It’s great that they can now shop without leaving facebook. Would be great if we could post new items added to the shop on our wall so fans can comment and click directly through to shop tab from their news feed. Any plans for this?

  • Dkosala82

    Hi Tim,

    Can we create a email, sign up box (to enter our fan’s email) into our Fan page (in a welcome page).??
    And how?

    Kosala from http://www.ceylonoutsourcing.com

  • http://learntoplaymusiconline.net Music Man

    Getting ready to open up our facebook fan page, now I feel even better about the opportunities that are awaiting…looking forward to the next step, thanks for the GREAT article

    http://www.learntoplaymusiconline.net

  • Sonsma

    The blog post is really perfect timing for us. For our clothing company we like to keep on the fore-front of social media as I think our fans and followers have come to expect it.

    Not only was the article and research done helpful…but the comments of others with samples have been amazing. Our company was hoping to release exclusive Limited Edition tee’s only on Facebook in the near future and searching for the best platform to launch. While ShopTab might be something we migrate to later on, I think Payvment might be our next route. Wish us luck!

    Kristen Sonsma
    Chief Marketing Officer
    B. Square Clothing and Entertainment, Inc.
    http://www.bsquareclothing.com
    #jointhemovement
    Be to sure ‘Like’ us at http://www.facebook.com/bsquareclothing

  • http://www.extremecreative.com.au Adriana Web design Brisbane

    Great Article! I did not know that!!! I have to try.

  • http://twitter.com/benjamintrotter Benjamin Trotter

    You missed Storefront Social, the leading Storefront Facebook app out there for promoting products on Facebook. Check out http://storefrontsocial.com Not sure how this was missed in your research ;(

  • http://wistech.biz/ Wisdom

    Doesn’t It kill your actual Website, your real asset, if you start using Facebook as eCommerce Platform also? I believe, it should just be used as plateform to market, rather than replacement of your website.

  • http://www.socialmedialogue.com Socialmedialogue

    The question is: is it worth to implement a shop in your Facebook page?

    I read about a survey which says that that almost nobody of your fans will ever come back to the page after they visited it for the first time…

  • http://itbythesea.com ChristineRoux

    Yes you can put a sign up page on your Welcome tab. You just integrate it in your FBML box.
    The exact syntax will depend on the autoresponder you are using. I know AWeber and MailChimp give you a copy and paste code.
    You have to take care of two things:
    1) Use the html code, not a javascript because it won’t work in the box
    2) If you want to make sure your form looks the same in FF and IE, you need to add a css external file. Just copy the css included in the form you get form the autoresponder and paste it in a file that you will upload to your Web hosting server. then create a link to it at the beginning of your FBML.
    If you want to see an example, you can go to http://facebook.com/ITbytheSea . You wioll ahve to like the page to see the form though. :)

  • http://www.mazakaro.com Rahul @ MazaKaro

    good tricks , i have been seeing this recently and being on a business requires you to be smart with such details !!!!! excellent !

  • http://www.holidayscotland.org Greg

    great tips and advice can always reply on the best SM tips here thanks

  • http://www.clickvisionmedia.co.uk Dave Thomas

    Great post! We are developing strategies through Click Vision Media that are helping market peoples products on facebook. We have gone down the traditional routes with the paid ads and had some really good results and it seems that with these tips we can do better as a serviced offered. What i would like to as is from my own business page as above how can we or do you have incredible tips like this to help promote services to people when we have limited followers and what ways can we boost likers!!;-)

  • Wade

    Good article Tim. We’ve learned quite a bit about what works for selling on the social graph over the last year. One key thing that might help your article is to discuss selling in the news feed itself.

    The majority of the sales we’re processing now for merchants are occurring on the Facebook user’s home page via the news feed. Relatively few sales are captured on Fan Pages because people spend most of their Facebook time in the news feed – not fan pages…

    Best,
    Wade Gerten
    CEO
    Alvenda

  • http://www.savalanche.com Pasi Vuorio

    Thanks for nice posting, it’s good to see that Facebook sales is getting more and more attention. If you want to see how we do it here close to where Santa Clause lives (in Finland of course :) , check out e.g. this page:
    http://www.facebook.com/miasma.magazine?v=app_117391651627870
    The service called Savalanche is so far only available here in Finland, but soon we are reaching to bigger markets also. It would be nice to get your feedback on functionality and design of the shops…

    Cheers,
    Pasi Vuorio
    Founder and Creative Director
    Vuole / Savalanche-team

  • Dkosala82

    thankx Christine, I’m working on it nw for my client.
    :)

  • http://twitter.com/infusedindustr infused industries

    Check out Infused Commerce! Retailers can set up a “Store” on their Facebook Pages. http://www.infusedcommerce.com

  • Mbarnet5

    I’m curious, how do each of these apps notify the business of a purchase? Besides convenience, what are the other pros of having an e-commerce app on your fan page? I still want to drive traffic to my main site. Does the ability to one-stop shop at a fan page take away from driving traffic to the main site?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hi Dino, According to ComScore, people on Facebook spend more online than other folks online, so I don’t think that is the issue

  • http://www.facebook.com/lew.sabbag Lew Sabbag

    Has anyone tried Vendio yet? Their base platform & facebook app is free.
    I just looked at it last night & started to build out a store – it also integrates with Amazon & ebay
    http://www.vendio.com

  • Fibrwrks

    Am I allowed to sell my products of face book

    Shirley

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Good luck, Kristin! I’m glad you found the article helpful. This is a continually evolving situation, with competition amongst storefront providers driving some great innovations. Cheers!

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    I plan to continue posting articles surveying e-commerce/storefront options on Facebook, and I’ll make sure to check out Storefront Social.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    How many people come back to your Page or your website really depends on the quality of content you offer. Because most Pages don’t take full advantage of leveraging their Facebook presence, this will of course mean that the vast majority won’t inspire folks to make return visits. But for those who really take advantage of the marketing potential, there will be rewards commensurate with their efforts.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Thanks Pasi. Make sure you let us know when your product extends to the US market. The field is wide open!

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Will do.

  • http://www.ecwid.com/ Eugene Kaznacheev

    Yes.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Hi Lew, No, I haven’t checked out Vendio, but I will. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1631962970 Maryam Alhafidh

    As online marketing manger @http://www.facebook.com/fayafishop. Facebook (FAN ) page helpful with increase your relationships with your customers (fans) only , but after while your e-business will gain more creditability and demands .
    Thanks tons Tim Ware

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Martin-Strydom/100001751736199 Martin Strydom

    http://www.onlinemoneymakergenie.blogspot.com/Great to be part of this information, we are fortunate to have so many possibilities on a daily basis!

  • http://www.socialmedialogue.com Socialmedialogue

    Thanks Tim! I think a good FB page is always a nice add-on but not a compensation for your website.

  • http://mariasconsulting.com Maria Snyder Consulting

    Thanks Tim, I manage social media for individuals and businesses. Your article saved me time and I appreciate all of the resources you provided. E-commerce or F-commerce is important to those businesses who promote via the Facebook Fan page, your article provided me many resources to keep the customer within Facebook during a sale. Great job!

  • Sonsma

    I agree. I think it’s important to be aware of new opportunities including technology changes that make your brand more accessible to your consumers. We here at B. Square Clothing also want to be aware to not interrupt the ‘conversation’ so to speak that takes place naturally online, but focus on it being an option. You’ve been very helpful.

  • Jsable

    Tim, my company Moontoast enables Facebook commerce as well. Some of our clients, such as Maxim Magazine, are presently selling standard subscriptions (see http://www.facebook.com/maximmagazine?v=app_4949752878, which is the ‘subscribe’ tab on Maxim’s Facebook page. However, other clients are engaging with their Facebook fans with unique merchandising packages. As an example Reba McEntire is selling pre-release packages for her upcoming which include unique merchandise not available elsewhere (including automatic entry into a contest). Her fans appreciate the fact that she is enabling commerce on her Facebook page and they are thrilled (you can see the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’) with the great product packages she is offering.

  • http://awiserstart.com Rey

    Does anyone have anything to say about Vendio. They are my favorite for free carts that have huge functions such as selling in Ebay and Amazon. What can anyone say about them. Their app is also free!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kara.c.arnold Kara Arnold

    There’s definitely advantages to having a store within Facebook, but since it’s in its infancy, fans might not be ready quite yet. However, if it’s fully integrated, shoppers can still chat with their Facebook friends, getting real-time feedback on potential buys, for example. Since Facebook Like is available on full sites now, I don’t find that as exciting of an offering, but of course it still should be included in a Shop on Facebook.At Branding Brand, we just launched Steve Madden’s fully integrated Facebook Shop this week: http://apps.facebook.com/stevemadden/ Currently, we’re working to integrate the blog, All Access, and Madden Music, as well as a few other features, so we’d love to know what you think!As for security, while we set up through SSL, and technically advanced users can see that their browser is in fact sending their personal information over a secure connection by looking at their activity log, the layman would not see this. We’re looking into working with Facebook to get a secure page, but in the meantime, we may include a lock image in checkout. Any other suggestions?But Wisdom’s question, “Doesn’t it kill your full site?” is an interesting question. I’m not sure it’s a problem to kill the full site if the end goal is revenue. And perhaps it’s then worthwhile to look into whether some content should be exclusive on a full site versus the Facebook Page, and vice versa. I’m curious to see how others feel about this notion.

  • Shafqatcheema

    hello

  • http://phylliskhare.com/ Phyllis Khare

    I have a question – do any of these use an existing merchant account, or do they all use PayPal?

  • Jean

    Hi Tim, Thank you for the article. One thing i noticed was that payvement does not support alot of 3rd world currencies. I am from South Africa and would very much like to use payvement but it does not support the South African Rand. It seems that most of the payment systems are for American and European countries. What about the developing countries? I would like to sell my product to my fellow country men also or to all who are interested but because our currency is not supported I cannot do facebook sales.

  • Madison

    If we were looking to sell promotional items & tickets only, for a once a year event, would we need a vendors license to sell on facebook?

  • http://twitter.com/Alvenda Alvenda

    Rayela -

    Facebook is removing tabs from personal profiles. If you create a page here:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/

    You can add a tab to it that won’t be going away any time soon.

    Lou

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Martin-Strydom/100001751736199 Martin Strydom

    i HAVE FOUND PAYVMENT TO BE THE BEST APPLICATION FOR USING ON FACEBOOK! IT IS SIMPLY, MADE EASY AND ENJOYABLE FOR PEOPLE TO USE!

  • Mumu

    http://www.sellaround.net – also interesting

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Glad I could help you out, Maria!

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    I’ll check out your storefront app, Jsable. Thanks!

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Hi Phyllis. As the article mentions, some utilize PayPal, and others simply redirect to their main website to do the e-commerce transaction where it’s whatever that site is using, commonly a merchant account.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Hi Jean. Well, that’s certainly a drag! I’m not sure what you can do about that except convince the developers that they’re missing out on an important market by not including your currency.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    I would urge folks to read Brian Solis’ recent article where he looks at e-commerce on Facebook (he calls it F-Commerce (“F” for Facebook). Here’s a snippet:

    “While it may appear that we’re progressing through the alphabet here, from “E” to “F,” Facebook represents an important platform to engage and activate the social consumer. F-commerce is the ability to execute transactions in Facebook without leaving the network or leveraging the open graph by integrating Facebook into traditional site-based e-commerce platforms. And more importantly, it ties each transaction to the social graph. With each exchange, an update is broadcast to the news feed of their contacts. This potentially sparks a social effect and ultimately may influence impressions and decisions over time.”

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    And I would strongly recommend that those who wonder about the effectiveness of selling on Facebook, keeping the experience on Facebook as much as possible, read Brian Solis’ excellent article about the power and benefits of selling on Facebook (he calls it “F-Commerce” (“F” for Facebook). Here’s a taste:

    “There is debate as to why brands would willfully sacrifice traffic to its dotcom. In my experience, this comes down to the unique touchpoints that connect brands to traditional consumers and social consumers respectively. With the social consumer, attention comes at a premium and there are great advantages in capturing attention where and when it’s focused.”

  • http://www.SuranasJewelove.com/ Sambhav Karnawat

    Is there any app that uses a payment gateway besides paypal or that works in India?

  • ShopShare

    I think you missed http://www.shopshare.com! Free 30-days test accounts for fans. Its the only one on a lot of features that all the others are missiing, like exclusive products for fans and heaps of delivery and payment options!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LRob65 Lee Roberts

    Great article Tim! We experimented with a cross breed of sorts about 2 months ago and we have successfully converted some facebook fans into purchasing services directly from our page. First we established a secure order form using Presto Forms. (Cost is only $10 a month!) Then we created a good looking “salesy” image that we published as a tab on fb using fbml. We set up the underlying link of the image to shuttle people off to our presto form, where they completed the transaction.

    Overall, this process works well, but as you’ve mentioned on other comment replies, the downfall is that it does take people away from facebook. Plus, there is no ability to “like” a particular product or service like one can do using Payvment. However, when customers begin to shop using Payvment, they see the standard “request for permission” message on fb – and I think that may make some consumers a bit nervous – especially since almost no one has experienced the ability to buy a product right on fb. If more larger retailers move to it and it becomes more commonplace though, I think this has unbelievable potential!

  • Harlank43

    thanks for the advice but the fbml and the profile html no longer work anymore so the third party application is imperative!

  • http://www.zibaba.com Ayala

    We now know that fcommerce is the next best thing and Social Media Shopping is the big buzz word for 2011 so we offer you to join us at Zibaba and get your social storefront built onto your Facebook Fanpage within the minutes!

    Tim’ we would appriciate if you could check our new platform and write a review on it.

    Now you can sell and interact with your customers through Facebook by opening an on-line shop straight on your fan page.
    Our website –
    http://www.zibaba.com
    our facebook –
    http://www.facebook.com/zibabacom
    some examples of the storefront –
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shudoo/57997966454?v=app_144440148901844&ref=ts
    http://www.facebook.com/interfloratheflowerexperts?v=app_144440148901844&ref=ts
    for any further questions please contact cs@zibaba.com
    MERRY CHRISTMAS

  • http://traveloasis.com Jim

    How do you get a facebook address like: http://facebook.com/example ? Anybody know? we keep getting addresses like http://facebook.com/pages/example. Any solution to that?

  • http://www.wooleen.com.au Wooleen

    Hi Jim, once you reach 25 likes on facebook you can change your page to have a more simple name. Some call it a vanity name.
    http://www.facebook.com/username/
    I hope this is what you mean and it helps!

  • http://www.easyfacebookshop.com Jesus Plaza

    Hello. I’m the author of the Facebook Paypal Shop, i found this interesting thread looking for links to my FB application. I read through all comments, but couldn’t find the reference. Anyway, i think the app. i’ve developed could be interesting for users of this site. You can check a preview here:
    http://www.easyfacebookshop.com/

    Also, i want to congratulate the owners of this site, found it quite useful and interesting. Bookmarked.
    Jesus de la Plaza (Activden Author: pezflash).

  • http://www.solveitmedia.com/ social media

    By using your Facebook account you can broadcast your comments in your Facebook News Feed, or broadcast your comments as tweets with your Twitter account.. This is really an advantage..

  • http://www.autobizz.com.my Autobizz

    Thank you for great post. working and try to comeout a storefront for http://www.facebook.com/autobizz

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  • http://dorkitude.com/ Kyle Wild

    Would love to see our app, Storefront Social, on the list. We’re scrappy and don’t have a marketing/PR budget, but our customers love us and we’re growing. We specialize in helping you get your products into a Facebook shop: http://storefrontsocial.com

  • http://www.kilt-sporran.co.uk kilt

    Great post. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Johne2x

    Thanks this is great exactly what I was looking for, thanks for doing the research for us.
    On a side note your hyper link to http://www.payvment.com/ is broken

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  • http://mobilethemesworld.net/ Mobile Themes World

    Thanks for the information regarding shop application on facebook

  • http://crimm.me Crimm

     Thank you for this! I’ll be using it :p

  • http://www.richonlinejobs.com Fernades

    You have 25 fans for that page to make a facebook.com/username like link. After you achieved this, then you can start your facebook marketplace

     in simple steps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=738536507 Kat Gettel

    The terms of service imply that you must get written approval for any product that you sell.  And there are a few Items off of the list.  Now that they have marketplace, its even stricter.  How can you know for sure?

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Kat, Read Mari’s comment in the previous thread with Kristin Rutten. The Terms of Service do not require any written approval for business pages selling products (unless it’s a restricted product such as alcohol). You may be confusing this with a personal profile.

    If you can provide a URL to the page where you’re seeing the requirements you mention, please share!

  • Jake

    Hi Tim,
    I really liked your article and found it informative and helpful. Recently I came across a company called “sortal commerce”. It’s look they fit into you the category of “real” fcommerce by doing all their transactions within facebook itself. From what I’ve seen they seem to have a real quality product but are a new and relatively untested company.
    How would I go about finding out more about them? Have you heard of them?

    Thanks for keeping us informed. Keep it up.

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  • Graeme

    so – how do these services compare with the really important stuff? Yay, a customer hit the buy button!  Then what? can I set which countries are going to ship free domicile (not just which countries you’re willing to ship to), can it handle calculating provincial (not just national) taxes? how do you get the information out: decrement your QOH, increase your cash account, and all that other fun accounting stuff.  We’re not living up to the promise of computers if we just have to cut and paste every transaction back into our shipping software and accounting software. Any advice would help!

    thanks,
    Graeme

  • Sarahna

    There is another free social shop available that works really well and is also free. It easily integrates with EBay and Amazon and the staff are extremely helpful. It is called Easy Social Shop (www.easysocialshop.com)

  • http://www.togsandclogs.com/ Muhammad Sajjad

    really appreciate the amount of time you obviously took in creating this
    post. Of course we love that ShopTab was included too. ;-) Every
    business has unique needs and the rapidly increasing trend around social
    commerce is creating amazing and innovative options. 2011 is going to
    be an exciting year. 

  • http://www.togsandclogs.com/ Muhammad Sajjad

    “There is debate as to why brands would willfully sacrifice traffic to
    its dotcom. In my experience, this comes down to the unique touchpoints
    that connect brands to traditional consumers and social consumers
    respectively. With the social consumer, attention comes at a premium and
    there are great advantages in capturing attention where and when it’s
    focused.” 

  • Albena Todorova

    This is really cool solution for promoting products in facebook.

    Selling 6 great Facebook Applications Scripts
    You can see, buy and download all applications at http://sicrets.com/

    All of the facebook applications are writen in iframe and are fully compatible with Facebook’s 2011 roadmap plans. This means that they continue to work for a long time after making a purchaise.

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  • Jack King

    We sell on our main website, amazon, and eBay.  I’d love to add facebook (where we have 1.200 likes) but I’d also like to be able to maintain inventory and pricing in a single location.  Boy that would be Nirvana.  http://drilleys.com

  • Alvinsrini

    If you have Magento Ecommerce store then you should definitely have this app which will set up your online web store in Facebook: http://www.apptha.com/category/extension/Magento/Magento-Facebook-App

  • jessi

    Hey guys, 
    I see that you’ve explored most of the options, but i wanted to offer you another one (Jack king, it may work for you) – Easy Social Shop is an app that integrate your eBay/Amazon shop onto your Facebok page. With 3 clicks you have your store on your facebook page and the best thing is that you don’t need to manage a new store as your costumers will be redirected to your existing eaby/amazon store and with any change of price or product your Facebook shop is instantly synced with your eBay/Amazon store. 

    Give it a try, Its FREE!
    https://apps.facebook.com/easysocialshop/?ref=ts

  • http://twitter.com/ed_robertshaw Edward Robertshaw

    Great read, thanks for posting this.

    Selling goods on Facebook for stores? You should really consider using http://central.ly

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  • Scott A

    Hey Tim – great read.  Payvment, Ecwid all want to collect information from your consumers before check out.  Do you know of a 100% Fcommerce solution where the App will not collect ‘Profile Info, email address’ friends…etc?

  • http://www.ecwid.com/ Eugene Kaznacheev

    Scott,
    Customers don’t need to allow any Facebook permissions to check out in Ecwid.  How it works: 
    - Customers can freely browse your catalog and add products to bag without asking for any permissions. They can even be logged out from Facebook. 
    - When a customer decide to place an order and presses the “Checkout” button, the Ecwid app will request for permission to access basic information, email and current location of a Facebook account of this customer. This step is completely optional. So if the customer presses the “Don’t allow” button and doesn’t give our app the permission, he/she will still be able to check out and place an order.

  • guest

    I never knew you could do this, thank you! I just get post pictures on facebook of my products and then when people comment saying they want to buy, I send them a paypal invoice. I will now be looking into this, thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1228561475 Jack Clancy

    i use this http://www.bockie.com. facebook enabled and allows one to set up a show in 3 minutes.

  • http://kathypop.com/ Kathy Pop

      The more you can keep people on FB the more FB LOVES it! So selling products from your FanPage is a win win in FB’s eyes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003239593917 Shane Casey

    If you have a facebook page and are interested in integrating one of the above systems, we are able to help! Just send an email to shane@appseotech.com Even if you don’t have a page contact me. Small business facebook page design and store setups.

  • delir

    We are a startup luxury fashion brand. What do you recommend a startup with limited budget do for its social networking and e-commerce strategies? We haven’t designed our website yet but want to ensure that we have designers integrate the latest and most necessary marketing and sales tools…would love to hear your comments and thoughts.  

  • InternetUser

    I came across “Aradium” doing a web search. What do you think of them?

  • Zeba

    Hi Tim – does Facebook take any percengage of a sale?

  • InternetUser

    Hi – I tried to go to your payvment store clicking on the link here. It cannot find the page.

  • http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/ Tim Ware

    Facebook’s system doesn’t interact with the shopping cart at all, so no opportunity to take percentage of sale.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003861595342 As Nisa

    Selling
    on Facebook is a great way to make a little extra cash. Just make sure you
    use https://www.payondelivery.com to collect the money. It’s the safest way
    for both the buyer and the seller.
     

  • http://magento.ikantam.com/ Alex

    What about conversions? Here at 
    http://magento.ikantam.com we observe quite poor results, to put it mildly.

  • Yoann Nadjar

    Hey
    I am using Easy Social Shop for 6 months now it is very good !! It is free and very easy to use !
    I love it!
    Take a look  :)

    http://apps.facebook.com/easysocialshop?sc=dropping&m=others&cp=1

    Yoann

  • Veronica63

    I am so stuck. This is good info. However, I am so remedial. lol  Here is one big concern. If I set up one of these tools you are all talking about on my face book, what will strangers be able to see on my face book. I have granddaughters and daughter, friends and family posting private things. What will BUYERS be able to see. Might be a dumb question. But, looks like you need at last one in here. LOL

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  • markelle

    Have you discovered any other payment sources for a Facebook business since writing this article a few years ago? Thanks for your time!
    Markelle

  • http://www.magthemehub.com/ Pravin

    Lovely blog man. Useful information. Thanks…

  • Valerie Istre

    I am wanting to start selling on Facebook. Considering this article was written 4 years ago is Pavyment still the best option. I am wanting to post a picture and description of item with price and first person that says wants in comment section will purchase the item. I am trying to figure which ecommerce business to use to have customers pay for products. Any updates to this article?









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