Finally, somed news comes out of the ether for retailers. Following on the heals of report after report about the threats of mobile, e-commerce and the internet to retailing we finally have some news of something that hasn't been working - the marriage of social and e-commerce. The largest incarnation of this being Facebook's attempt at storefronts. Otherwise known as F-commerce.
Apparently F-commerce just isn't working. It was recently reported on Pandodaily and Bloomberg that over the last year Gamestop, J.C. Penny, Gap Inc, and Nordstrom have all closed F-commerce stores. A variety of reasons have been passed around for why f-commerce has not been successful to date (after three years of trying), but the quote that I think sums it up best is this:
"..it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar."
Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester Research
What's the lesson to be learned here? Could it be that e-commerce to social network doesn't work, where as, social to e-commerce network may. It will be interesting to see how Tesco's experiment with its "facebook for Groceries" goes. This could provide some verification of this statement and a valuable lesson for retailers looking to augment traditional bricks and mortar.