There are many marketing reasons why you would or wouldn’t use a Facebook Store App. Convenience to fans, costs and sales statistics, traffic to your website are just a few. But with so many Facebook store Apps on offer – which to use if you choose to?
With the release of iFrames there isn’t really a need to use an online store app in your Facebook page unless you don’t have a website to send the traffic to or are not worried about the marketing stats of sales and just want to offer a store for convenience to your fans.
In my opinion, if a business has invested the time and money into installing a shopping cart system into their website I would encourage a Facebook Page tab to visually display product categories or products that would give them links back to the appropriate website pages. (Or use albums with links in the description).
You would not only set it up this way for traffic reasons but also because it is easier to monitor & manage ordering of products etc. Most shopping cart systems keep track of sales, what products are popular etc. This kind of info is much easier to help with ordering new products & how to package promos to get rid of old stock etc, as the sales are all going through the one tracking system.
Your website is also a better place to visually display your products and gives you more room to promote features etc so your Facebook tabs stay clean and uncluttered. A sample of this type of set up we created can be seen at Fascinatu’s Page. It must be noted that this page has not installed a shopping cart at all in the website but displays the products and takes sales via the contact form. Many small businesses start this way until sales need to be more systemised due to volume.
Using a Facebook Store App is useful if you don’t have a website or it doesn’t bother you to monitor two tracking systems (that is if the shopping app even has a tracking system!) and you want to offer a Facebook Store for convenience. If this you then I’ve done a bit of research lately into the pro’s con’s of may Facebook Store Apps and here’s 6 Online Shopping Apps to consider:
Payvment is well known and considered a reputable Facebook app. However it can turn customers away because like game apps etc it wants to access the users profile details before using it. This may have a buyer reconsider their purchase. Another is iFanStore by Milyoni which has all the bells & whistles & is used by large reputable businesses.
However there are good free ones out there to compare these with and here are 3 reputable ones and 1 new one:
Ecwid is clean, easy to use (drag & drop) & minimalistic.
Vendorship uses a Paypal checkout service which puts buyers at ease. Both of these have a large number of users and positive reviews.
A more recent one that came to my attention is called Tab Juice. It is in Beta stage – so take advantage of it as it’s currently free and takes no commission on your sales. If you’ve used this I’d love to hear your feedback.
But one that has my attention for small businesses (especially if you don’t have website & want to appear like you have one) is BigCommerce. It is an all in one easy to use drag & drop system with marketing tools & more. It’s currently ranked as the No.1 Ecommerce platform by Top10Reviews & recommended by Mashable.
I like this one because it’s an all round solution if you don’t have a shopping cart in your website (or don’t even have a website!) as you can create an online shop with them and then use their apps to then display your store in Facebook, Ebay etc. This means all your sales analytics are in one place! It also has a huge amount of video & marketing sales strategies, as well as free access to other marketing software, such as using the Email marketing system called iContact. It does have a monthly cost but given it’s full list of resources it is well worth it. I’ve found a link to get you a FREE trial period without entering your credit card: Try Big Commerce FREE for 15 days!
So use this to have a sticky beak at it’s features & try before you buy!
Let me know what you choose to use from this list. I always like to hear user’s feedback for telling my client’s or students at workshops – the good & the bad! I myself still prefer to build the shopping cart within the website for the traffic (and improve the possibility of other sales that can occur once a customer is on the website). If you want to find out more about this option for your business use the contact form and I will be in touch.