Facebook Friday App Review – Ecwid

Ecwid provide a range of fully hosted shopping cart solutions for eCommerce businesses including a free app for Facebook Pages.

The app syncs with your main Ecwid store, meaning changes you make via the Ecwid control panel get mirrored on your Facebook store in an instant.

Plenty of payment gateways are supported including major credit/debit cards and PayPal. There’s also an impressive array of shipping options such as FedEx, DHL and UPS.

If you have international customers you’ll be pleased to know that the app as over 40 storefront translations, allowing visitors to Facebook store to checkout in their native tongue.

All-in-all Ecwid is solid eCommerce solution for Facebook Pages. Although it can be a little annoying having to log in to the Ecwid platform in order to make changes to your store, it does allow you to add more detail than other Facebook eCommerce solutions.

Find out more about Ecwid here.

Facebook Friday App Review – TabJuice

TabJuice is a free application that helps you monetise your Facebook fan base by adding an ecommerce platform to your Facebook page. It’s highly intuitive interface means you can have your very own custom branded Facebook store up and running in no time at all.

You don’t actually need an existing online store to use TabJuice since everything needed for eCommerce is built in. There’s functionality to run special offers for specific dates/times, plus there are options to allow fans to leave comments and reviews on your products/services.

One of the best things about TabJuice is that it’s fully compatible with iFrames, which allows for greater flexibility in page design. Another good thing about TabJuice is that it doesn’t publicise connections between storefronts and personal profiles. This is great if you’re a one-man-band and don’t want to give that fact away.

All-in-all, TabJuice is an ideal solution for anyone who wants to easily integrate a storefront into their Facebook page.

Try it for yourself here.

Facebook Friday App Review – Storefront

Storefront is another solution that lets you share products on your Facebook page.

Like similar tools, storefront lets you assign categories to your products; however its most unique feature is the ability to add customer banners to your page. This is really good for branding and making the most of highly visual products.

One of the tools major drawbacks when you compare it to other ecommerce services such as Payvment, is that it doesn’t allow users to add products to the basket in one storefront and checkout on another.

With free solutions such as Payvment available, it does call into question whether Storefront is actually worth $9.95 per month. If you’re looking to emphasise your brand first and foremost, then perhaps it is.

Find out more about Storefront here.

Facebook Friday App Review – Merchenta Social Commerce

Merchenta’s MiniStore plug-in enables retailers to extend their web stores to consumers on Facebook and other social networking sites such as Twitter. It works by integrating directly with retailers existing product feeds to dynamically display products. It requires no technical skills to set up.

Once up and running, retailers can make on the fly changes to products, offers and prices, all of which are updated in real-time. Merchenta MiniStores can also process transactions meaning consumers don’t have to leave Facebook if they wish to make a purchase.

I recently visited Pia Jewellery’s Merchenta MiniStore on their Facebook page and thought it offered a really good user experience.  Upon clicking the “Shop Pia” button you’re presented with a carousel of products to choose from (think the cover-flow function found on the iPhone and iPod touch and you’ll know exactly what I mean). Clicking on one of these products followed by the “Learn More” link takes you to a product information screen where there’s was a great zoom tool that allows you to get an even better look at your prospective purchase. Clicking the “Buy Now” button takes you directly to the product page on the ecommerce website where you can complete your transaction; it’s as easy as that. Users can also share and recommend products with their friends.

All-in-all Merchenta’s MiniStore is great a great plug-in. For retailers it’s very easy to implement and maintain. For consumers it offers a great user experience by delivering dynamic content and encouraging ‘social’ shopping. The latter is particularly important as it encourages viral promotion, which can facilitate greater brand exposure and increased sales.