Archive | 七月, 2011

The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Commerce

24 七月

Facebook’s gravitational pull of 750 million users is enough to hold digital marketers spellbound. Once they get past the sheer size, they find that Facebook also offers unique and nuanced selling opportunities amidst difficult obstacles.

First off, Facebook users have better things to be doing. The average Facebook user is connected to 130 Friends and 80 interest groups and makes his or her preferences known through rich profiles and by posting 90 pieces of content per month. Facebook users spend 700 billion minutes per month in an active, relaxed environment where word-of-mouth is built into every turn. The traffic, of course, also matters. Compete found that large brands like Coca-Cola are getting about 11% of their unique visits through Facebook Pages.

Selling on or through Facebook now has a name: F-commerce. As with most aspects of social media, it does not yet live up to the potential that many foresee and it has no problem finding both strong advocates and cynical detractors. In this post, we’ll break down the ins and outs of this digital buzzword. Let us know what questions you have about F-commerce in the comments below.


Four Types of F-Commerce


1. Facebook-Facilitated On-Site Selling:

Brands can bring the Facebook experience to their websites, tapping users’ connections and interests to support the purchasing process. The simplest examples involve using social plugins — short code snippets that ping Facebook’s network for information about the user visiting the brand’s site. The Like Button is the most common plugin and is usually regarded as a content sharing device, but when it is used in conjunction with a product page it can provide peer support by displaying the names and profile images of people who have Liked the product — most appealing for brands is the fact that it also highlights any of the user’s Facebook friends who have Liked the product.

A more sophisticated approach uses Facebook’s Open Graph API to retrieve the Likes and interests of the user, as well as those of his or her friends. There is a permission screen involved and every friend’s privacy settings are individually respected.

 

For the past few months Amazon.com has been offering a “Tap into Your Friends” option (still labeled Beta). After the permission screen, the user is taken to an Amazon page showing the upcoming birthdays of Facebook Friends and their Amazon Wish List if they have one. Amazon uses a user’s friends’ profile data, which often includes favorite books and music, to make gift suggestions.

2. Facebook-Initiated Selling:

Business accounts can set up a storefront for free on their Facebook Pages, and many thousands have already done so. The vast majority start the shopping process at Facebook.com but then jump to their own ecommerce pages at some point. Lady Gaga’s Facebook store is an example of a store that takes users on a rather abrupt transition. Users can browse products on her Facebook Page, but any click takes them to the product page at bravadousa.com, a licensed merchandise marketer and fulfillment service. The Facebook branding is gone, and the look and feel changes completely. A new window opens which would make any Facebook multitasking (e.g., chat) cumbersome. Apparently, a Page with over 30 million Likes can get away with this — Justin Bieber has the exact same arrangement.

 

Best Buy keeps shoppers in the Facebook environment a bit longer and takes advantage of the social features while they are there. Its store app isn’t labeled “Shop,” it is “Shop + Share.” Users can search or browse for products, and when they find something that interests them, they have two options: “Ask Friends” or “Shop Now.” “Ask Friends” leads to a Wall post asking about the product. Interestingly, Best Buy currently makes “Ask Friends” much more noticeable than “Shop Now,” which takes the user to the product page at BestBuy.com for the shopping cart and checkout process.

3. Complete Selling through Facebook:

1-800-Flowers has pioneered a selling process that never takes the user away from Facebook.com. Shoppers can select products, options, see delivery dates and even include a personal message without interrupting their Facebook experience. 1-800-Flowers does not take full advantage of the social environment, though, as it doesn’t provide an easy way to ask a relative what Mom’s favorite flowers are or what her zip code is, for example.

 

Delta Airlines has built a complete ticketing system into its Facebook Page, and while it allows the user to promote Delta by posting a general message on his or her Wall, it doesn’t do much to help the user share details with Friends involved in the trip, something that a Send Button could do nicely.

4. iFrames vs. Facebook Apps:

There are two ways of displaying F-commerce Pages on Facebook.com, each with its pluses and minuses. In February 2011, Facebook adopted iFrames as the method that businesses use to supply custom content to their Pages. In the simplest terms, iFrames allow a business to create and host its own content and to display it in the 520-pixel middle column of a Facebook Page.

 

Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and even Best Buy, present their F-commerce pages through an iFrame. The advantage is simplicity, since businesses can create and maintain the content on their own terms — iFrames tend to offer the most seamless experiences for consumers. 1-800-Flowersand Delta do their selling via Facebook apps. The primary advantage of going to an app is real estate. iFrame content is restricted to the 520 pixel-wide middle Page column, while an app can control the left most 760 pixels — a 46% increase in visible selling space. The disadvantage of apps is that they are more difficult to maintain and they may stress smaller budgets within businesses lacking Facebook development expertise.


F-Commerce Developers Emerge as a Resource


The list of software developers offering F-commerce products is growing. Many come from traditional ecommerce, offering Facebook as an extension for their clients. SortPrice, for example, powers the Dallas Mavericks‘s Facebook store, and Usablenet, which powers JCPenney‘s Facebook store. Another popular application for adding Facebook to an existing ecommerce program is Storefront Social, which Borders uses.

A popular developer that seems to be emphasizing F-Commerce is 8thBridge, responsible for 1-800-Flowers, as well as Delta. And the popular Payvment app allows clients to become part of a Facebook shopping mall with a connected shopping cart.


The Future of F-Commerce


There are many more questions than there are answers about the long term future of F-commerce, which is still in its infancy and barely survived its birth. In 2007, Facebook tried Project Beacon, which collected ecommerce activity on third party sites and announced a user’s purchases on his or her friends’ news feed. Facebook quickly withdrew from that privacy nightmare but its dismal reputation for freely dispersing user data still haunts F-commerce. Many Facebook users have become so accustomed to Facebook’s aggressive data sharing policies that they automatically assume the worst. A recent study from JWT found the percentage of people worried about Facebook privacy and security to be in the 75% range.

Experienced ecommerce managers also see problems with Facebook.com itself. “The user experience is less-than-optimal with slow page loads and smaller page size due to Facebook’s advertising and navigation. I don’t see why customers would bother shopping through Facebook when a faster and better experience is only a browser tab away,” notes Linda Bustos, director of ecommerce research at Elastic Path Software. Facebook advertising is certainly an issue. No matter how you structure your F-commerce store, the user will still be served targeted Facebook ads during the buying process.

Many web marketers question the social nature of shopping itself, and there is considerable opinion that people visit Facebook to catch up with their Friends and not to be sold products. The good news on that front, from the JWT study, is that 48% of millennials (aged 20-33) would like to see the places where they shop give them the ability to buy directly on Facebook.

The best reason for businesses to take a deep breath before investing in a F-commerce is Facebook itself, which currently benefits from F-commerce primarily through the sale of ads promoting it. They’d obviously like a better cut and nobody is quite sure how they would do it. Facebook Credits could somehow be expanded to become the currency for F-commerce. Credits for gaming and virtual goods earn Facebook a 30% commission — F-commerce Credits would probably be in the 5% range.

There is no shortage of opinions regarding the future of selling on Facebook, but one overwhelming motivation — it is where the customers are, and they should be able to buy wherever and whenever they like.

By:  http://mashable.com/2011/07/14/facebook-commerce-guide/

批評的思考 – 為孩子帶來怎樣的未來?

1 七月

前文: 網上人的於七一遊行前的發言

“想當年彭定康鑽空子搞全民選舉,一樣係好似林九公咁講合情合理合憲合法,咪一樣俾上大人話係千古罪人,而家黃仁龍一樣係講基本法無規定必須進行補選填補立法會空缺,咪一樣係鑽空子,好可惜佢坐喺呢個位要好似班保皇黨咁樣阿爺要使乜佢吔就要支持乜一樣,大律師公會史無前例四度提出批評遞補機制違憲,佢仍然要支持政府,唔通作為一個官員就唔可以憑良知去做事?唔通佢身為司長就唔可以辭職抗議以表示不認同?還是我們太睇得起他的清高呢?"

 

這想法合情合理嗎? 我有以下的回應:

有誰不是在鑽空子, 班自稱為民主律師/大律師/前御用大律師打官司唔係鑽空子, 那有咁富貴? 補選成功的議員有那一個不是鑽自己公開對選民的承諾的空子而厚著面皮留在立法會? 在選舉過程中一改再改自己的承諾(自行釋法?!), 還要大張旗鼓的跟選民說自己"贏"了! 自己的承諾也保不了的還要說成自己有承擔, 可信賴? 有補選或冇補選, 都是在維護自己的利益, 政治就是這樣, 談的不是對或錯, 而是是不是符合己方的利益, 講bargain…如果真的是為香港好, 為大眾, 為有需要0既人爭取資源的話, 想當日就應該以辭職補選去bargain把該筆用於補選的款項作為實實在在的扶貧之用作為不辭職的條件, 而唔係花左納稅人的錢而去做一個價值一點七億0既鬧劇出來, 最終是沒有香港人得益(除了是還留在立法會的補選議員, 因為他們每天還是收著納稅人的錢去打呢份工), 輸的是全香港人! 一點七億對有需要的人, 不論是赤貧的, 有病的, 待學的等等的人, 可都是天文數字!

一些思考重點:

  1. 政府不回應或不否認其實不等如/不應硬說成是默認, 因為相互"謾罵"從來都不是解決問題的有效方法;
  2. 廣州就是花了2600億, 可同時制造了大量就業, 養活了大量民工, 這是事實, 是我在廣州居住, 深圳上班親身眼見及感受
  3. 我深信就是香港政府就算是主動把儲備發放, 部分自稱為民主鬥士的人還是會反過來"謾罵"它胡亂花錢, 又或是不足夠之類, 搞上街遊行喊口號…$6000不就是一個例子? 硬找理據把白說成黑反對別人的論點有何難度, 提倡建議建造未來才是困難
  4. 政治理論及思想是不能變成食物的, 美國及歐洲的自由思想及人民權利是建基於軍事霸權和不停借貸, 這兩方面香港有嗎?
  5. 信息的重點在於"信"字, 即是要"可信", 一部分報章雜誌的內容是否真的是"事實", 是否有既定立場其實人人都心裡有數, 喜歡看的那內容不代表就是事實的全部, 只是自己啱聽啱睇罷了; 大概法庭也不會接受壹週刊,忽然一週,FACE等雜誌小報的"創作"/報導作為判案理據吧…
  6. 至於搜索引擎, 自己做果行, 也只可以說這是以訛傳訛的溫床, 那有人去認真驗證其內容的真偽, 盲目接受的話不正就是"說了一百遍的大話就變成事實"的謬誤乎? 網路中多的是這些例子

我同意要爭取自由民主, 我同意要捍衛言論自由, 但我不認同自我陶醉單為提升自己聲名的政治鬧劇, 不認同極端行為、單為表揚自己政治光譜而逢事必反的煽動及愚弄民智的政治思想, 不認同壓根兒不清楚什麼叫、在何時需要和以何種形式進行"公民抗命"的政客帶動的所謂"暴力抗爭", 不認同喜歡打著反中共口號卻喜歡以毛主席年代的陰謀論及以言入罪, 反過來說被迫害論而制造白色恐慌的議會人物, 不認同不停如小學生般為不同己見的人/黨扣帽子作花名的議員及政黨的幼稚行為, 不認同口嚷著人家不能接受反對聲音而看不見自己也根本是不願意聽反對自己政見聲音的人說要捍衛言論自由、新聞自由, 不認同一方面說要爭取最大的權利及自由, 另一方面卻不同樣看待非己理念的人應有的、神聖不可侵犯的權利及自由的種種在議會內外的行為(在政治哲學的定義, 個人的權利及自由是在不影響別人應有的權利及自由的同時可享有最高及最大程度的權利及自由), 不認同口裡嚷著香港價值在於法治, 自己卻不停鑽法律空子搞官司及議會鬧劇、不尊重最基本的合約精神在進行社會運動時為求增加見光而不負責任地作出在偏離申報時自己承諾的舉動, 把自己的不合法行為扣以民主自由而使其變為好像是合理化、合法化的理據…我相信這些不能審己度人的思想態度、跟非人導、無自由、缺人權等, 同樣都不是我們希望留給香港孩子對人對事對自己行為評價自省的理念、價值觀和道德標準。

我們爭取的是孩子們的未來, 如果是以一團糟的方法去爭取, 爭回來的也必然是一團糟的未來 – 不是為他們的未來留下一個個的炸彈, 就是把他們培養為一個個炸彈!