February 20, 2012

Facebook not a virtual shopping mall after all?

Four major retailers have closed their storefronts on Facebook over the past year. Fans of these brands have preferred shopping on the retailers’ websites over doing so on Facebook, where people prefer to share wishlists and discuss purchases rather than buy anything on the site.

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

Marketers refrain that social commerce may reach $5 billion by 2015, but perhaps the push for Facebook commerce is too much, too soon. Consumer resistance to shopping on the social network reminds us of how people felt about shopping on the Internet back in the early-to mid-1990s.

Once they became more comfortable with the technology and more confident about the security, people began buying things on the web. The same pattern might occur with Facebook commerce.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

Read also "Facebook Stores: A Failed Experiment or Worth Another Shot?" at MarketingPilgrim