How to Optimize Your Business for the F-commerce Era.

By Alex Buran on June 6th, 2011

Translation Services USA has its roots back in 2001, when a work-from-home single entrepreneur has built a language empire with an online website, paid ads, and submissions to online directories. Orders followed and the rest is history. These were old good days of e-commerce, which unfortunately, are gone and it seems forever.

F-commerce

F-commerce

Back in a day, it was really ahead of the curve to offer professional translation services through a website and emails. Customers went to search engines, typed their search queries, found our website, filled out the contact form and we emailed them the price estimates. All the document exchange was happening via emails. Customers emailed us the original documents in attachments. We translated them and emailed back in email attachments as well. This seemed like a great way of doing business, especially when a lot of our translators were working from home, and Internet was penetrating even the most remote parts of the world. Good old days!

 

But, let’s not forget. It was a decade ago. Today is 2011 and cloud computing is taking great momentum. Steve Jobs hurries to announce its iCloud service, Amazon.com has built AWS, Netflix.com has built a viable movie streaming business. Cloud picks up nicely, but emails are getting increasingly out of picture. Even Mark Zuckerberg has built a messaging tool that is more like an instant messenger rather than a conventional email service from Google or Yahoo. Everything rushes into a real-time domain. Customers want everything instantly, conveniently, and, most of the time, free of charge. The paradigm of cloud computing is going to stay and is growing.

However, the F-commerce is not about cloud computing. It is about the social networking and F in this case stands not for what you’ve originally thought of. F in our case stands for Facebook. The Facebook.com has such a tremendous impact on our lives that we, the professional translators, can’t simply ignore it. Mark Zuckerberg has done a great job of validating our online identities and connecting them more closely to our real lives. Thus, the age of anonymous browsing is fading away and is replaced by authenticity. Additionally, the Facebook has a huge reach outside of the US. Statistically speaking, 70% of Facebook’s customers access the website in non-English language which if you think about it, makes it a perfect case for building a global e-commerce brand with all that crowd-sourced intelligence organized in a focused way – translating contents.

Every possible business is now rushing to the Facebook and tries to snap a piece of its most valuable real-estate:  your own Fan-page. Every day you hear something like this: “Hey, like us on Facebook and stay in touch with our brand!” Like us here, like us there…This becomes so mainstream that most users no longer “like” anyone and these messages don’t reach their friends’ status updates. What we’ve done here at, Translation Services USA, we went into the other direction. We didn’t create a Fan-page, because we sell mostly to businesses and they are not on Facebook. Instead, we’ve build an amazing Facebook application which allows all the Facebook users to work as translators and do it without any emails or additional software. Thus, the f-commerce was born.

E-commerce is old and it is still working for some. But what has emerged is not M-commerce which stands for Mobile. Yes, there are users accessing apps through their smart phones and it is growing. What has emerged is much greater than M-Commerce. It is F-commerce and it seems it is here to stay. Internet browsers are the most prevalent today, not phones.

Successful companies don’t build fan-pages on Facebook. We don’t spend any time on our page (we do have one but I won’t show it to you as it is pointless). Instead, we are focusing on a much harder problem which keeps all our competitors at bay: using the Facebook’s developing platform. With its buggy documentation, it is a huge pain to develop apps. But if you do overcome this first barrier, it will pay off handsomely. Just look at Zynga where it is now. Just look at us and you will understand why Translation Services USA is increasingly becoming a household name.

 

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