Interesting story on Bloomberg Businessweek a few weeks ago.
Facebook is ramping up efforts to entice companies such as Delta Air Lines (DAL) and J.C. Penney (JCP) to sell wares on its pages and convert more of its 500 million users into online shoppers. Managers at the Palo Alto (Calif.)-based social network have met in the past month with more than 20 companies, said David Fisch, who runs a newly formed commerce partnerships group at Facebook. The aim is to help retailers set up shop on its pages and build tools that let Web users interact while buying.
In the comments I saw the term “f-commerce” for the first time, and I actually used the term in this blog when I first read the article; but I’m hearing very different views from various people in travel on whether or not it really will become a significant source of bookings.
I’m still sitting on the fence, but leaning towards the camp thinking it is better as a marketing and communication tool rather than an actual transaction platform when it comes to travel – but I was late to the party on bookings via mobile, so maybe I’ll be wrong on this one as well.
All I know is that if you are thinking of Facebook as a true e-commerce channel, then you had better be set up to be a truly social business. Embracing social in name only is not a good place to be.
I’m still surprised that so few companies seem to realize the good PR that can come out of a proper apology – as an example of how to do it right, take a look below at the apology I just saw from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason over a recent Japan promotion that went wrong. You just can’t buy this type of positive impact on the brand (the apology, not the screw up), and it really highlights a true social business versus one that is social in name only.
Update: An hour after hitting the Publish button on this post I saw that Daniele Beccari had just written a story on Groupon and travel for Tnooz, and in it he references another good piece from Stephen Joyce on Groupon that is travel specific and which I also had not seen previously.