Tagged: F-Commerce

by Adrian :: 2.05.11

Place your bets on (Sales)force.com

It took a trip out to San Francisco last December for me to confirm my belief that Salesforce.com was opening up the next round of opportunity for business large and small with their Force.com platform.

It is true to say they started with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) at the heart of their business in the early noughties and it’s also true to say they’ve perfected and cornered this market. And in doing so they’ve created the Force.com platform that allows over 92,300 customers to operate their business on the same platform: not just the sales process but any functional area – all the way from front-  to back-office. Because the platform is a pay on demand platform it offers robust scalability from the day you sign up irrespective of the size of the business.

I’ve been watching things develop withe Force.com over a few years and paid extra attention when they opened the platform up to non-proprietary development tools like Java and Ruby on Rails. This made practical sense allowing the business world to tap into the existing development skills-base without having to be constrained to their proprietary tool base called Apex.

A decade ago, CRM earned a bad reputation when Gartner reported that 50% to 70% of CRM software installations failed. The acronym CRM is tainted, I’ be the first to admit that but I’d like you to argue with me that you don’t need a system that puts your customer right in the heart of your organisation – call it what you want. There is no business without a customer.

Most of the damage done to the reputation of CRM was a result of huge-budgeted implementations of Siebel or the like – monolithic, expensive, inflexible requiring massive investment in hardware, software and implementation. Salesforce.com has changed all this and Gartner awarded them the Magic Quadrant leader. Have a look at Salesforce.com’s UK customers success stories.

Since the advent of Facebook and the emergence of f-Commerce, CRM has become even more important and the ability to interact with your existing and potential customers online  (and specifically in Facebook) is increasingly important. Whether it’s just a conversation or whether that conversation turns into a recommendation or even a sale you will surely want it to happen on the same technology platform: a platform that allows you to be develop quickly and reliably; a platform that allows you to have that conversation and transaction on any device – mobile or otherwise.

The Cluetrain Manifesto is now over a decade old but their predictions hold even more true today. Markets are about conversations (take the old Bazaars) and technology is restoring those old values. Salesforce.com isn’t just about CRM, it’s about the future of building your business out of those Cluetrain.com conversations using a trusted, robust and scalable platform available to all regardless of your business size. Doesn’t that sound empowering and compelling?

 

 

 

by Adrian :: 3.04.11

The Big Bang of F-Commerce

Notice the website address?

It’s a matter of time—within the next five or so years—before more business will be done on Facebook than Amazon Sumeet Jain, Principal, CMEA Capital

Take a look at the snap I took in the London underground. You’d expect it to be Gillette.co.uk – but no, it’s facebook.com/GilletteUK.

At the time of writing let’s set the scene: if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest on earth!

Facebook is becoming the world’s largest marketplace. Take a look at Digital Tomorrow Today’s piece on 10 Facebook Facts, UK brands cannot ignore.

Facebook now accounts for 1 in 6 page views in the UK, that’s twice the number of page views received by Google.

As Facebook camps at the offices of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) waiting for their banking license, we’ll soon see the ability to cash-out of Facebook credits. As soon as we can do this please hold onto your hats: we’re about to experience the “Big Bang of F-Commerce“. Facebook credits could become the official currency of the online economy.

Each step closer to Facebook’s FSA license is another nail in Paypal’s coffin. In an imminent massacre, Facebook has enough users to obliterate Paypal and other Merchants creating a new economy – the Facebook economy. It’s not just about Facebook scooping up the existing economy it’s more about the new economy it creates. Facebook will empower small business. It has never been viable for low value items to be sold online because the online transaction costs are too high and that’s ignoring the investment required to create an engaging e-commerce site and then there’s the challenge of driving traffic to the site: never an easy proposition.

So here comes Facebook bringing the transaction costs down to basis points. Without investment, Facebook will allow us to create an online store at the touch of a button in the world’s largest marketplace and drive viewers to our site through the good old fashioned power of “Word of Mouth”.

And it’s not just about transacting online – a future Facebook payment system would most likely allow for purchases both online and at the point of sale. Using Facebook Credits, an individual could one day walk into a retailer and use their NFC-enabled mobile phone to purchase goods. Facebook could combine payments, loyalty, discounts and viral marketing all delivered via a mobile phone.

For further reading why not pay eConsultancy a visit?

In three to five years, 10 percent to 15 percent of total consumer spending in developed countries may go through sites such as Facebook Mike Fauscette, Analyst, IDC Consulting

Anyone who still believes in 2010 that Facebook isn’t going directly drive a massive commerce opportunity for merchants and retailers alike on that platform will find themselves this time next year in 2011 wishing for their own Christmas miracleKaren Webster, President, pymnts.com.

 

There are many things you could be doing to ready your business for this opportunity. Please get in touch to chat through a few ideas.