Retailers Defriend F-Commerce

Facebook commerce is not for everyone. A recent report by Bloomberg notes that four major retailers (Gap, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, and Gamestop) have closed their Facebook storefronts over the past year. Analysts believe the brands gave F-commerce the heave-ho because their millions of Facebook fans simply weren’t interested in shopping on the social network.

“We just didn’t get the return on investment we needed from the Facebook market, so we shut it down pretty quickly,” Gamestop VP of Marketing, Ashley Sheetz, told Bloomberg. “For us, it’s been a way we communicate with customers on deals, not a place to sell.”

Does Socializing Distract From Buying?

Indeed, Facebook users love friending brands, sharing wishlists, discussing purchases, and buying hay bales on FarmVille. But getting users to hit the buy button has proved more of a challenge.

“There was a lot of anticipation that Facebook would turn into a new destination, a store, a place where people would shop,” Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told Bloomberg News. “But it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.”

But it would be a mistake to completely write off F-commerce. Analysts are still predicting that social commerce sales will reach $30 billion by 2015, with a majority of that coming from Facebook. As Optify‘s Anthony Joseph has pointed out, the ability to create social shopping experiences will drive e-commerce in the future.

A few big F-commerce sites might have shut down, but you better believe they’ll be back as soon as they can find a way to convert socializers into buyers.

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