Following the adage: ‘Go where the users are’, companies have flocked to Facebook, and they’ve increasingly been trying to do more with their Facebook presences in an effort to get the maximum ROI out of the social networking experience.
For some companies, doing more has meant investing in Facebook commerce, or f-commerce as it is widely referred to. The concept is simple – instead of forcing consumers to go to your website to buy your wares, you can hawk them through storefronts on Facebook, eliminating the need for consumers to leave their favorite hangout.
But many of those storefronts are now being shuttered according to a report by Bloomberg. Major brands like Gap, Old Navy, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Banana Republic are among those that have decided that f-commerce wasn’t worth it.
The reason? For video game Gamestop, which has some 3.5m fans on its Facebook Page, the ROI simply wasn’t there. “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.
In retrospect, the fact that some of the f-commerce hype is subsiding isn’t entirely surprising. As Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru observes, selling to consumers on Facebook is “like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.” In other words, it’s not always a good combination.