We are starting to see the terms f-commerce and m-commerce used more frequently. In reality, f-commerce and m-commerce are just extensions of e-commerce.
It is hard to take ourselves back to a time when e-commerce – the buying and selling of goods or services over the Internet – did not exist. E-commerce has revolutionized commerce from the way we book travel, sell and buy goods, and so much more! In 1995, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon shipped the first book ever sold on Amazon.com. Now look at Amazon in 2012, it is the #1 online retailer in the U.S. with a diversified portfolio of products and annual sales in the billions of dollars.
E-commerce is evolving to adapt to the emerging trends of social (f-commerce) and mobile (m-commerce) consumers.
What is F-Commerce?
F-Commerce, also known as Facebook Commerce or fcommerce ,is the use of Facebook as a platform for facilitating and executing sales transactions – either on Facebook itself or externally via the Facebook Open Graph. (Source: socialmediatoday.com)
Companies like Coca-Cola, Heinz, Disney, JCPenney, Starbucks, 1-800-Flowers, the list goes on and on have all been proactive in the area of f-commerce. For a comprehensive list and examples check out the following links: 101 Examples of F-Commerce, 11 Examples of F-Commerce for 2012, socialmediatoday.com.
This week there is buzz about Bobbi Brown Cosmetics as they kick off their Facebook campaign. Some neat things that Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is doing for this international Facebook campaign: kick-off with video from founder and CEO Bobbi Brown, fans vote on favorite lip color from a list (until February 29th), based on votes the most popular lip colors will become available for fans to purchase on Facebook.
F-commerce allows Bobbi Brown Cosmetics to connect on a personal level with a targeted niche market (Facebook fans). This campaign has the potential to increase customer loyalty as Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is demonstrating to customers that their opinions matter.
What is M-Commerce?
M-Commerce, also known as Mobile Commerce or mCommerce, is the ability to conduct commerce using a mobile device. (Source: Wikipedia.org)
This is a growing area for consumers to purchase products and/or services on their mobile device. Here are some statistics to sink your teeth into: m-commerce is predicted to reach US$119 billion in 2015, with the US m-commerce market reaching US$31 billion by 2016. (Source: mobithinking.com)
There are different trends that are emerging as a result of m-commerce. Individuals are using their mobile devices to bargain hunt by comparing prices while in-store shopping or looking up product information instead of reaching out to a sales representative. Ticket purchase via mobile devices is a convenient way to purchase tickets for flights, movies, etc. M-commerce is especially being marketed to consumers for its ease of use and convenience.
Companies like eBay are investing strongly in this area. The company believes that it will achieve $8 billion in m-commerce in 2012 (Source: mobilecommercedaily.com). They have a marketing campaign that demonstrates the ease of use and convenience of m-commerce.
You might have seen the following commercials recently on television:
Marketing needs to integrate strategies and tactics that embrace these growing sales channels and consumer behaviors. Marketers are an integral part of f-commerce and m-commerce for every company. Not only do both f-commerce and m-commerce increase opportunity for sales, they are platforms that can be used to promote customer acquisition, customer loyalty and customer advocacy. As much as these areas are new for companies, they are also new for consumers. And so, it will take trials for both businesses and consumers to determine what does and does not work for f-commerce and m-commerce.