Having a Facebook page is great. But, there’s not a whole lot you can do there except share content, and encourage people to “like” it. To do more with a Facebook page, a small business often has to go through a social media firm and make the investment so the page is a lot more interactive. Well, what if you could sell your products on Facebook? Well, now you can with Wishpond. Their new shopping platform, RetailConnect, allows small businesses to build a Facebook Store – complete with price, location, and product images. Retailers can automatically import product data from their POS system, e-Commerce site, or marketplace storefronts on eBay, Shopify, and Google Merchant Center into the Facebook Store. Retailers can then customize the Facebook Store to align it with their brand’s look and feel as well as grow and engage Facebook fans while still driving traffic to their ecommerce site or physical location.
For just a few hundred dollars and in as little as 30 minutes, a small business can have a Facebook store up and running. Smallbiztechnology.com sat down with Ali Tajsakandar, CEO of Wishpond, for a short Q&A to discuss this new platform and the idea of social commerce.
1. Why build a store front in Facebook as opposed to linking to ones external ecommerce store?
Wishpond actually builds a Facebook Storefront that links back to a retailer’s ecommerce site. That way, the retailer still owns the customer relationship (vs. Facebook owning it) and the retailer gets to leverage its existing Web properties. By having a Facebook Storefront, SMBs can capitalize on the viral/social nature of Facebook and engage new and current customers.
2. I’m sure there are many Facebook e-commerce apps available. What makes Wishpond special?
Wishpond is the only company to offer the following:
- Setup in minutes
- Import from multiple sources: eBay, Google, Shopify, Ecommerce website, POS, Custom feed
- AutoSync – no need to change how you manage products currently
- Live Update checks price/availability with every user request
- Links to existing ecommerce site – Monetize fan base
3. Can some business have just an ecommerce store on Facebook and not sell through a traditional web site? Like 100% social commerce?
No, we don’t offer a shopping cart option on purpose. We believe it is in the best interest of [small and medium-sized businesses] to own the customer relationship and have their own ecommerce site where customers can complete the transactions.
Additional features to the Facebook Store include a browse by brand, the ability to suggest related products, and the ability for fans and customers to like products (in addition to your brand or business). Who says social media marketing has to be only for the brand? After all, your brand does include your products too.