Small Business Facebook Selling Fuels Businesses in North Texas

hcho@dallasnews.com
Published: 16 November 2013 02:46 PM
Updated: 16 November 2013 02:46 PM

The idea was simple: Sell extra inventory of children’s clothes on Facebook.

Three years later, Amy Laws and Nicole Metzger Brewer have turned that one-time idea into a multimillion-dollar business.

Their Dallas-based Smocked Auctions doesn’t have a traditional brick-and-mortar store or sell its smocked and monogrammed boys’ and girls’ clothes on a website yet. Regardless, the online bidding boutique hit $4 million in sales this year by selling on the social networking site.

“E-commerce is faceless, nameless,” Laws said. “We run our business as an open book. Anyone could get on our page and see what people are saying. The fan interaction is gratifying as a businesswoman and a mom.”

Small businesses and female entrepreneurs like Laws and Brewer are driving a new wave of e-commerce on Facebook, known as f-commerce. These retailers sell exclusively on Facebook or generate most of their sales on the site.

F-commerce emerged several years ago, but it remains hit-or-miss, according to some analysts.

Nearly every retailer uses Facebook as a marketing tool, offering early access to sales and new products. Often, though, retailers direct consumers to their e-commerce sites.

Big players like J.C. Penney and Nordstrom tried but failed to establish Facebook stores. Others are experimenting: High-end brand Tory Burch recently opened a Facebook shop.

“The

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