Less than retailer friendly?
A Bloomberg article about major retailers shutting down their Facebook stores has opened up a lively debate on the nature of Facebook ecommerce. Mashable articulated the most commonly heard reaction -- that Facebook can play a major role in the buying process but that simply replicating a web store catalog isn't enough to close a sale. ReadWriteWeb resurfaced the long term concern that people are on Facebook to socialize, not to buy but Get Elastic provided examples of merchants that were succeeding because they found areas where Facebook could add value to the buying process instead of relying completely on the limited commerce functionality within Facebook itself.
The blog Social Business also spoke up for the wisdom of marketing to hundreds of millions of connected consumers on Facebook with the argument that brand advocacy and communications are really what Facebook is all about. Ticketmaster has been commonly cited as having a Facebook app that effectively leverages Facebook's features and 8thBridge's CEO (who built the Ticketmaster app) provided inside data showing that almost 90% of their track able shopping activity on Facebook has involved Friends sharing information.