Facebook Shopping Means Never Having to Leave the Site

Facebook shopping websiteIt's a no-brainer why more and more retailers -- from J.C. Penney and apparel chain Express to 1-800-FLOWERS -- are selling to consumers directly on Facebook. The social network has become the portal to people's worlds -- and where they wile way the hours.

But what do shoppers get out of buying from retailers' Facebook pages vs. the company's own e-commerce sites?

For one, Facebook addicts don't have to pull themselves away from the social network in order to shop. And as retailers enhance the interactive appeal of their e-commerce pages on Facebook, shopping on the site is quickly becoming a social outlet for consumers, merchants say.

"Convenience is certainly number one," Lisa Gavales, chief marketing officer of Express, told WalletPop. "We feel if customers are already in the middle of their Facebook experience, why should they have to go somewhere else if they want to shop?"

To that end, the retailer has made their entire merchandise assortment available for purchase on Facebook. And, the inventory updates in real time, Gavales says.

"The second benefit of Facebook shopping is the ease with which you can share and get information from friends," says Gavales. "Customers can 'like' individual items and see what others are liking and why."

J.C. Penney put its entire e-commerce assortment on its Facebook page right before the holidays.
"Our Facebook page hosts a 'Shop' tab, providing a full shopping experience...including checkout, without having to leave the Facebook environment," Kate Coultas, corporate communications senior manager for J.C. Penney, told WalletPop. "By introducing commerce capability, we're able to take our Facebook experience to the next level, providing convenient features that encourage social integration and user contribution as our customers shop," she says.

Like Express, J.C. Penney's Facebook page enables users to "like" and share items and purchases with their friends. In addition, product display pages are integrated with Facebook reviews, allowing Facebook users to comment on products -- which sounds like something akin to community shopping.

For instance, now you can ask your fashionista friend, who always seems to be sporting an effortlessly put-together look, if that slouchy tunic you're eyeing is worth buying -- or bailing.

Indeed, says Gavales, "Facebook shopping has the additional appeal of being a seamless transition from chatting with friends about shopping to actually doing it!"

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Praveen Kumar

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