Soon you may be making your fashion purchase via Facebook. The social networking giant is hoping for a slice of the $10-billion market for online coupons by offering a free service that allows retailers to broadcast special offers to all Facebookusers in the immediate area.
Facebook Deals works in conjunction with Facebook Places, which allows users to "check in" to locations using their smartphones to see if anyone else they know is also in the area.
Facebook Deals, which made its debut in the U.S. in November, allows businesses to offer discounts or deals if Facebook users check in at their stores. For example, Gap offered 10.000 pairs of free jeans to the first people arriving in store, and 40% off those who checked in later in the day.
That’s precisely what Facebook Deals are about. With the right promotion, Deals can get people off the street and into stores. Conveniently for Facebook, it also gets them sharing their location with friends, adding yet one more valuable piece of information to the ever-expanding social graph.
The Telegraph reported Ian Maude, head of internet at Enders Analysis, thinks it’s difficult to know the full impact of this new type of social commerce just yet, but believes it will be significant.
“I think the power of social commerce will be significant and the effect on retail will be in the hundreds of millions of pounds. It is definitely not a gimmick and has the power to transform business at a local level. Although I don’t think new services, such as Facebook Places Deals will fundamentally change people’s buying patterns but it will definitely alter them to some degree.”
Image: Facebook Mark Zuckerberg