The term “social commerce” is being used more and more nowadays, causing a slight misunderstanding of the true definition. Building brand awareness through social media is not the same as leveraging the platform to sell products and services directly, a strategy that offers tremendous potential for e-commerce merchants.
Facebook is by far the largest and most lucrative network on which to deploy such a strategy, and several viable options exist for today’s retailers. Below is an overview of some of the leading social commerce solutions designed to sell products on Facebook.
Founded in 2009, Ecwid offers a widget that builds seamlessly
integrated online stores in minutes. It works with any existing website
as well as major content management systems such as WordPress and
Joomla. The widget can also be used to build a Web store on Facebook and
accepts payments from all major payment systems. The service is free for smaller stores and pricing begins at $17 for stores with over
The social commerce platform from ShopVisible is neither a widget nor an application, but rather a fully immersive e-commerce experience for Facebook users. The suite of e-commerce, analytics and social marketing tools was designed specifically for selling on the world’s most popular social network. It can be used as a stand-alone platform for Facebook or integrated to an existing e-commerce store, duplicating the experience customers would find on your primary retail website without requiring users to leave the Facebook site
Similar to ShopVisible’s platform, the SocialShop app from BigCommerce gives users the ability to browse products and share them with their Facebook friends before making any purchases, but unlike the previous solution the transaction itself takes place on the merchant’s BigCommerce-powered website. BigCommerce offers a free 15-day demo of the app, and pricing starts at $24.95 per month.
Founded in 2010, VendorShop social currently powers thousands of Facebook shops and has over 170,000 active Facebook users, which makes it one of the top three providers of integrated Facebook stores worldwide. The software is free to install and all stores carry the McAfee Secure and VeriSign Trust marks of security and have powerful promotion tools to maximize social selling opportunities.
A free e-commerce solution for anyone wanting to offer products and services online. A shopping cart functionality links directly to the seller’s product list, allowing them to display prices and photos within their own store domain. When a buyer completes an order, the seller receives an instant message containing both order details along with the buyer’s contact information.