F-Commerce was supposed to be the next big thing since selling on marketplaces of having a website. I’ve yet to see anyone selling much worth talking about on Facebook and that appears to be confirmed by the acquisition of Payvment by Intuit.
Payvment was one of PayPal’s first X.Commerce applications to be announced back in 2009… which reminds me, has X.Commerce also died, checking the X.Commerce Partner Directory today reveals less than a dozen X.Commerce solutions. In anyone’s book that’s a bit of a failure for two year’s work.
Anyway back to Payvment, the aim was to turn Facebook into an online shopping mall with multiple retailers but the benefit of a single shopping cart. By enabling search across the whole of Facebook they wanted to create a global selling platform that every retailer can add inventory to. The truth however appears to be that it’s hard enough to get Facebook users to share a product with their friends, let alone get them to buy on Facebook.
F-Commerce isn’t going to be the promised future it was once hailed as, but the market has moved on and realised that Pinterest sharing and the Facebook Open Graph are more likely to engage customers, but with the ultimate purchase being made on the retailers own website.
That being the case it’s interesting to see that while the Payvment technology and employees have been swallowed up by Intuit they weren’t interested in the 175,000+ users who’ve opened a Payvment Facebook store (although it’s likely only 10%-15% of that number were active users anyway). Payvment have a note on their website giving one month notice that merchants can transition to their erstwhile competitor Ecwid, who have a welcome landing page along with a one-click Payvment migration tool.
So the value of Payvment appears to be it’s Facebook payment technology and not it’s client base which is being given away. It’s probable that Intuit want to use Payvment’s Facebook Ad purchasing functionality rather than planning to rebuild and relaunch Facebook shops in the future. Certainly Payvment’s customers are apparently worthless to Intuit.
Will anyone crack F-Commerce? It appears increasingly unlikely and highly probably merchants will go back to using Facebook for referral traffic and being friendly to customers instead of trying to transact on the site.
Try and transact on Faceback and you get hostile messages with users threatening to leave Facebook.
2% of my website traffic is through my Facebook wall. Is this level of referal worth the effort?
As I don’t get ebay stats not too sure how much Facebook referal traffic my ebay store receives. Having paid for a Facebook app you would think that the app provider would provide you with stats relating to how many facebook wall visitors are actually hitting the button but they don’t.
The only stat that really matters is sales and these are fine both on ebay and website so not entirely bothered by limited facebook referals.
Treat Facebook as a bit of fun, light froth, and a diversion from the day to day selling, rather than as a serious sales channel, and you won’t get too wound up by it!
Not too sure Facebook wants its fee paying advertisers to see it that way though?
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