In most cases, I’d say if you wanted to build an off site e-commerce application to replace your onsite store, then you should rethink your strategy. But what if you want to add an off site store – on Facebook, for instance – as an adjunct to your onsite store? Then I’d say more power to you.
Facebook now has applications that allow you to set up your page as an e-commerce storefront. That’s not a bad thing.
Remember what your Facebook page is. Primarily, it’s a branding and marketing tool. If you promote it well on Facebook and it gets a good bit of traffic, why not allow your fans to buy directly from the page? Why send them to your website to look for what they want when you stand a chance of losing them in the process to recidivism? Give them the opportunity to buy right where they are and they are more likely to buy.
In other words, put the end goal closer to your customer.
That’s what the Facebook page as e-commerce store is all about. You can use it as an outpost, a franchise to your main store. And sell more product in the process.
I see a day when serious online merchants will have their main website as well as outposts on Facebook and the other most popular social networks.