When Mandie Miller left her job as an on-air traffic reporter in Charlotte, N.C., to have her first child, she started baking cakes for friends, just for fun. The response was so positive that in April 2009 she started a business, Got What It Cakes.
Ms. Miller put up a Web site, but about five months later her sister created a Got What It Cakes Facebook page. That's when the business started to grow. Cake orders went from two or three a weekend to six to 10; now Ms. Miller is turning away another 10 each weekend. Annual revenue at the end of her second year in business was a little more than $40,000.
Got What It Cakes is part of a new wave of online commerce: F-commerce. Social media specialists say the term was coined in 2009 to describe the growing number of businesses that sell through a Facebook page. Payvment, a start-up that provides support for Facebook shopping transactions, says it has 170,000 clients and is signing on about 1,500 stores a week, most with fewer than five employees.