One-Third of Small Merchants on Facebook Use It to Sell
By Ina Steiner
Facebook may become a major player in ecommerce, and small sellers are helping pave the way. One-third (32%) of the online sellers responding to AuctionBytes' latest Facebook Quick Poll list items for sale on Facebook.
Facebook is inching closer into the marketplace battleground with Amazon, eBay, and Google, according to Wall Street firm Lazard Capital Markets in a recent report. The firm noted that Facebook has over 600 million users who spend in aggregate 700 billion minutes per month on the site. "Importantly, the integration of Facebook Credits and digital microtransactions is providing the infrastructure and means for Facebook to become a major player in ecommerce and online payments."
But for smaller sellers, it's not a slam dunk! Respondents to the AuctionBytes Quick Poll said one of the major challenges they faced was not knowing how to sell on Facebook:
"Haven't worked out how to do it for eBay or Amazon - looked at the Oodle link but I don't use Oodle!!
"Didn't know I could! . . . Tell me how and is it worth it?
"I would if I knew how."
Another challenge for small sellers was the fear of inundating friends and family with ads for their listings.
"I used to use some kind of thing through facebook, but it annoyed a lot of my friend every time a listing showed up on their wall."
"I have a personal Facebook account and not one set up for my eBay biz. I don't want to bore my friends with my business. I know someone who has an eBay biz and every time he lists something it shows up on his personal FB account and it's rather annoying."
"My facebook is mostly for family and friends."
"Only two or three a week. I don't want to inundate Facebook friends with what I'm selling. The same on Twitter, nothing is more boring than to see tweet after tweet about your shop."
Only one person mentioned in the comments that they listed items for sale on Facebook through eBay, others said they use their business fan page to do so. "I have an Etsy store and have a fan page so I occasionally sell off my fan page," said one respondent.
"I have a few Facebook business pages for my stores and I post links to the more interesting items. One store also has images of all items for sale in the photos section. I use Networked Blogs to post links to my store blog entries on those Facebook business pages. I also manage a collaborative blog site of many sellers which does the same. All status updates on all pages post to Twitter as well."
Other comments included, "No, but we do plan to do so," "Zero sales so far," and "I've gained sales by doing this."
AuctionBytes kicked off the new Quick Poll feature on Facebook this month, providing an informal look at issues of interest to online sellers. This week's Quick Poll tackles eBay's shopping cart it is developing that is designed to support both fixed price and auction-style listings from all eBay sellers in a single site-wide shopping cart.
Take the latest AuctionBytes Quick Poll now via SurveyMonkey.com, and be alerted to new polls by connecting with us via Facebook.
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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