Marks & Spencer is the latest in a long line of retailers to jump on social and F-commerce with the launch of its Facebook store.

The ‘store’, built specifically to drive Father’s Day purchases, is actually a search function designed to sit in the Facebook page to showcase products to the page’s 300,000 fans. An XML feed is used so the inventory can be dynamically updated. The design is clean and the small range is plenty to engage the customer.

But as with other retailers I have written about here, M&S has seen an opportunity in F-commerce and taken it only so far. Retailers should look to Asos as an example and create fully functioning stores within the Facebookplatform, rather than build what is really only a sophisticated search function that sends shoppers back to the retailer’s website. They could harness the social aspect and use customers’ purchases to draw in connected users and gain more customers. By taking the shopper away from the social networking environment retailers are failing to cash in on this.