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The New York Times recently ran an article checking in on how F-commerce—shopping via Facebook—is doing. For anyone in need of a refresher, F-commerce was one of those ideas everyone was really excited about when it first popped up back in 2009, but it never really took off: Gap, JCPenney, Nordstrom, and ASOS all shuttered their Facebook boutiques shortly after launching them. (We did an informal reader survey on the topic back in February: the majority of the 100+ responders had never heard of F-commerce.)
But the Times is now reporting that though larger brands have bombed, small businesses are actually benefitting from Facebook's shopping functionality. The piece cites a handful of boutiques around the country that do a robust Facebook business, and quotes Payvment, a start-up that provides support for Facebook shopping transactions, for stats on how quickly this trend is growing: Payvment says it is signing on about 1,500 stores a week, and most of them have fewer than five employees.
We did a quick spot check of a few of our own favorite boutiques around the country—Brooklyn's Bird, Richmond's Need Supply Co., and LA's TenOverSix—and though they all have featured product on their Facebook pages, none of it is actually shoppable there. A rep from Bird told us, "It's not something we're really focusing on at this point. We want to make sure our website is in great shape before we focus on commerce through social media."
What do you think? Would you shop through Facebook? Feel free to share your thoughts/wax poetic in the comments.