Social Media Shock: Shoppers Distrust Facebook Stores

David Amerland
David Amerland owner/founder, DavidAmerland.com

Posted on January 2nd 2012

Social Media Shock: Shoppers Distrust Facebook Stores

In a study that seems specifically designed to make social media marketers lose sleep online research company ThreatMetrix suggest that more than 50% of consumers distrust Facebook Stores stating concerns online fraud as a reason. Even more worryingly, a further 23% report that they are unsure about social media shopping on Facebook.

The study, which ThreatMetrix undertook with the assistance of the Ponemon Institute reveals that of those questioned 51% said that Google is more effective than Facebook at keeping them safe from online criminals, and only 20% have purchased something directly within Facebook.

The issue is an important one and it follows up on the importance of appearance and set up in making eCommerce successful which is rapidly emerging as a crucial factor in online success. Namely, the fact that what sways consumers to make an online purchase is a sense of trust which ios hard to define but which everyone knows when it’s not there.

Facebook may have managed to attract over 10% of the world’s population but it also presents an unruly playground where raunchy pics, foul language and drunkenness appear to be the norm rather than the exception. This may make it ok in terms of an online place to hangout but when it comes to a place to do business in, the picture, as MySpace Founder Tom Anderson recently commented,is far from endearing.

Inevitably this must rub off on business which suddenly, in an online equivalent of the upscale store placed in a tough neighbourhood, are finding it difficult to attract customers. The game is not completely lost of course. Social media marketers advising their clients will now have to take into account the adversarial online environment and work both harder and smarter at attracting customers, appeasing their online fraud concerns and turning them into regular purchasers.

The real question, of course, is whether the additional expenditure in time and effort is justified when just round the corner Google Plus, already a trusted brand and a much more tightly controlled space, with a culture that’s decidedly more reserved, is ready to offer a more rewarding experience.

The year is barely 48 hours old and social media is already making waves. The issues of trust, authority and professionalism, never far from the surface in eCommerce are now becoming critical factors which, in a tough economy, can make or break brand reputations and, more importantly, affect bottom lines.

It remains to be seen what Facebook’s response will be in light of the findings but as the world’s largest social network struggles to implement its new Timeline interface the feeling must be that unless they also succeed in cleaning up their social network space, a lot of the business they hope to attract will simply not want to be there.

David Amerland

David Amerland

owner/founder, DavidAmerland.com

David Amerland is the author of seven best-selling books including "Google Semantic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques That Gets Your Company More Traffic, Increases Brand Impact and Amplifies Your Online Presence" and "Google+ Hangouts for Business: How to use Google+ Hangouts to Improve Brand Impact, Build Business and Communicate in Real-Time."

He helps multi-national clients and start-ups to organize their SEO and Social Media strategies. He is a business journalist, author and international speaker. He blogs about social media and search engine optimization, writes for a number of prominent websites including Forbes, and advises a handful of corporations on their social media crisis management techniques.

His books on SEO and Social Media demystify the complexity of the subjects they cover for readers around the world providing an accessible blueprint to better understand and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the connected economy. Follow him on @DavidAmerland. or find him on G+

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Comments

Daniel Higgins
Posted on January 11th 2012 at 3:35AM

I think your article explains the problems facing social commerce, particularly F-commerce.   At the heart of this is the lack of imagination which has gone into the majority of off the shelf solutions to date.

It is wrong to just integrate a facebook application with a store and expect everything to be hunky dory.   Some consideration of the pyschological hidden needs of the users is required.   I have gone into more detail about the problem here, which addresses your points:   http://webspacecommerce.com/node/107

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and if you want to arrange a demo of the suite of mini applications which can make your forray into social commerce a success, please get in touch.

 

David Amerland
Posted on May 2nd 2012 at 4:10PM

Daniel that is an excellent point, well made. There has to be real engagement rather than pure numbers which are frequently inert. I think the fault (if we can call it this) lies with legacy business which persist in demanding metrics which are based upon unsound notions of value.

mminitzer
Posted on January 11th 2012 at 4:08AM

You have raised some great points here - the team at Sortal Commerce predicted these issues about 18 months ago and based our social shopping platform as one that provides more than a regular storefront. We saw the need to create a value based offering to friends and one that stems from understanding the social aspect of shopping. We have achieved amazing results (7% conversion rate) exactly from this ability to give a 360 solution which includes online, offline, social and loyalty program management all in one platform.