F-commerce is getting serious. At one time, it may have just been a place where individual merchants could peddle their wares to their friends (which is always awkward and makes me not want to be your friend). But now it’s becoming a viable marketplace where large and small businesses alike can reach millions of fans online, and f-commerce platform Payvment is innovating to meet the new demands of this evolving market. After launching the first-ever Facebook shopping mall back in February, Payvment is unveiling a suite of new features to make selling on Facebook easier and more profitable.
Founder and CEO Christian Taylor admits that the space is getting increasingly crowded. F-commerce company Milyoni recently raised a $3 million round and currently serves over 50 major brands, representing over 80 million Facebook fans. Additionally, GameStop recently became the first multichannel gaming company to launch its own Facebook storefront. So Payvment has more work to do these days to capture the hearts and wallets of shoppers and sellers alike. But he remains confident that Payvment offers something that other f-commerce companies don’t.
“If you’re not interested in getting new customers, they’re fine. Where we want to be different is on the discovery end. Adding a store to your page isn’t going to bring any new customers beyond your own fanbase,” he tells me.
That emphasis on discovery is putting Payvment lightyears ahead of the competition. The platform now claims some three-quarters of the shopping that occurs on Facebook, according to Taylor, with 60,000 active sellers offering some two million products on Facebook. Additionally, another 400 stores are opening up each day.
“I was amazed by how fast sales were starting to come in after I launched a Facebook store with Payvment – in less than two days, new customers whose tastes really matched my brand were discovering and purchasing my products,” said fashion designer and Project Runway finalist Althea Harper.
The new features Payvment is unveiling today mark the first time the platform has implemented a monetization strategy. Until now, the Payvment service was entirely free, but starting at the end of September, sellers have the option of signing up for a Premium account or a Platinum account. Both accounts come with the new features, which include:
- Advanced analytics, which evaluate social data such as likes, tweets, and comments on a product-by-product basis;
- Automated and product-specific social promotions, which allow sellers to schedule promotional posts to their Facebook Wall and Twitter feeds;
- A centralized view of all customer interactions, comments, and ratings, and the ability to respond to customers, all from one dashboard;
- and the ability to manage multiple storefronts from a single dashboard, complete with
The Premium account costs $29.95 a month, or $299.95 a year, and comes with all of the existing Payvment features plus the new ones. The Platinum account is a customizable account for large sellers, such as agencies representing a large number of clients, and comes with all the same features as the Premium account plus the ability to manage an unlimited number of storefronts, while getting individualized training plus priority customer support.
“We didn’t want to be e-commerce in a box,” says Taylor. “Our sellers are getting social data they would never get on their websites.”