Social commerce was a prevalent theme at this month’s E-Commerce One-to-One, a conference for retailers organized by the Paris Chamber of Commerce. Here are some of the opinoins from the conference as reported by Internet Retailer:
“I don’t believe much in social commerce,” says Jean Emile Rosenblum, co-founder of Pixmania.com, referring to selling directly through Facebook, “but I believe strongly in the benefits of social networks for the brand image and look.”
Patrick Robin, founder and CEO of e-commerce and social marketing agency 24h00.fr, says “Facebook commerce is not about opening a shop (on Facebook) and dumping your catalogue, shopping cart and payment system on it—it’s not a new distribution channel or cash register,” he says, adding that Facebook’s biggest benefit to e-retailers is as an amplifier of word-of-mouth recommendations.
Many French online retailers are hesitant to embrace social networks for payments, treating sites like Facebook as channels for marketing and corporate communications. This stance is much aligned with the way French consumers view social commerce. Only 2% of the country’s Facebook users say they are ready to buy through Facebook according to Marc Lolivier, general director of Fevad.
Currently, most of Facebook’s payments revenue comes from Zynga customers who buy digital goods for use in social gaming. Facebook hopes that consumers will be open to purchasing a wider variety of goods on their platform as they try to diversify their payments business.
France, however, is only one of Facebook’s many markets and represents less than 3% of Facebook’s active users. Facebook will have to analyze each of its markets carefully before moving forward with any plans to further monetize its platform beyond advertising and social gaming revenues.
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