Online storefronts for retail goods are popping up all over Facebook, with the social network fast becoming a virtual shopping mall. We recently wrote about Payvment, a startup that implements PayPal’s Adaptive Payments API to let anyone set up a retail storefront on Facebook. Today, BigCommerce, a company that provides ecommerce software to online retailers and merchants, is adding the ability to create a storefront on Facebook pages.
Called SocialShop, the application allows merchants to display products on a Facebook Page. Merchants just have to add the application to their page, enter their store URL and then choose which products they want to display on the page. The retail platform will show up in a “Shop Now” tab on the page, and allows visitors to share products with their friends Facebook users can then click on a product to learn more but in order to buy the product they will be taken away from Facebook to the merchants store (which is also powered by BigCommerce) .
The one drawback to BigCommerce’s application is that the actual transaction needs to take place on the merchant’s BigCommerce website instead of within Facebook. But Mitchell Harper, CEO of BigCommerce, says that this can also draw more traffic to the merchant’s main storefront.
BigCommerce helps small businesses power anything and everything related to an online storefront from search to inventory to online payments to marketing and SEO. And the price for the software is affordable for small businesses, with basic plans starting at $25 per month. The company is currently powering online storefronts for 4000 businesses and faces competition from Yahoo Stores and eBay’s ProStores.