3 Best Practices for Facebook Ecommerce Success


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3 Best Practices for Facebook Ecommerce Success

  1. 1. 3 Best Practices for FacebookeCommerce SuccessSocial Strategies for Online Retailers Rapidly or reluctantly, retailers are adding social channels and tools to their arsenal, urged on by customers and competitors who are already using them. But these are not the only forces driving retailers towards social commerce. No longer hype, the opportunity for word-of-mouth customer referrals driven by social context and a shared shopping experience is simply too large to ignore:  67% of shoppers spend more online after recommendations from online community of friends (Internet Retailer, September 2009) Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com
  2. 2.  53% of people on Twitter recommend companies and/or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy the product. (ROI Research for Performance, June 2010)”Invest in  Facebook, blogs, Twitter and customer reviews areFacebook considered the most effective tactics for mobilizingintegration consumers to talk up products online. (Etailing survey of 117both on companies, September 2009)your siteand off to  On Black Friday 2010, there were more than 6x the numbertap the of Facebook status updates related to retail purchases as onpower of the previous Friday (Facebook, January 2011)socialwhile Facebook in particular has become increasingly important tocreating a retailers in the past year. Half of the top 25 retailers have integratedcustomer Facebook into their own sites, as have 17 of the fastest growing 25experience retailers, a telling statistic. In 2010 Facebook created a new team tothat work with retailers and help them best leverage Facebook Platformsupports products such as the Like button and login to drive business.yourbrand” There are a plethora of powerful tools, but three best practices will help you effectively tap that power while creating a customer experience that appropriately reflects your brand. 1. Invest equally in integrating Facebook into your own site as in Facebook.com 2. Incorporate ecommerce and social best practices both on your site and on Facebook.com 3. Close the loop to enable seamless shopping Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 2
  3. 3. #1 Invest equally in integrating Facebook for your own site asin Facebook.comWhy is it important to invest equally in your on-Facebook and off-Facebook social strategy? According to Facebook, a combination ofon-site and off-site Facebook tools and technologies can create a“social recommendations engine that personalizes sites and powersword of mouth at scale.” Most retailers are comfortable withrunning a variety of promotions on their Facebook Page, but lesscomfortable with using Facebook tools on their own sites. Thediscrepancy is illustrated below, with 91% of retailers surveyedusing or planning to use a Facebook Page, but significantly fewerlooking at integrating Facebook (formerly “Facebook Connect”) fortheir own sites.An important area of focus for 2011 is on making the rest of the webas social as Facebook. In a December interview, Ethan Beard,Director of Facebook Developer Network told Internet Retailer“We’re not trying to recreate the Internet on Facebook.com. In fact, Ispend most of time working with people to socialize the webFacebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 3
  4. 4. outside of our site.” Altimeter analyst Jeremiah Owyang calls 2011 “the year of integrating social with the corporate site.” Investing equally in social for your own site is the path to creating a”2011 is consistent brand experience for your customers wherever they are,the year of and in getting the most out of your entire social investment.integratingsocial with At the most basic level, integrating Facebook into your own retailthe site means you don’t have to “send your customers away” to becorporate social. You can add social context and create a loop betweensite - don’t Facebook and your site without distracting consumers from thesend your shopping process. Most retailers have a significant investment incustomers search marketing programs, and keeping people on the site is aaway to be cardinal rule.social” Consider the following examples. In the first, visitors to Macys.com who want to “like” the Macys brand must click the “Facebook” icon, which redirects the browser window to the Macys brand Page on Facebook.com. That shopper then has to click “Like” on the Macys Facebook Page, then hit the “back” button on the browser or re- navigate to the Macys.com site to return to their original path. This process leaves a lot of opportunity to be distracted from the original destination and intention. In the second example, Gap.com has implemented the Facebook Like Box plugin. A visitor to Gap.com simply clicks the “Like” button and the process is completed without any additional clicks, creating a connection to the Gap Facebook Page seamlessly, and most importantly keeps the person on the site. This is a win-win for Gap and its customers, enabling both to establish a new relationship and a new communication channel on Facebook, without distracting from the shopping process. Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 4
  5. 5. While this is a very simple integration example, it is representativeof why it is important to get the balance of on-site and off-site socialFacebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 5
  6. 6. right. According to Facebook, people who click the Like button on external sites have 2.4x the number of friends than the average Facebook user, and click on 5.3x more external links, so ensuring”Tried and you connect with these word-of-mouth advocates is not just a nicetrue online to have, it’s a must-have1.retail bestpractices #2 Design for the best of ecommerce and social both on yourstill apply site and offwhen Tried and true eCommerce best practices still apply when designingdesigning a commerce experience on Facebook.com, just as social bestyour practices still apply when integrating social features into yourcommerce website. JCPenney has a history of running innovative socialexperience campaigns on Facebook, and has proven they are not afraid toon iterate quickly and learn how best to engage customers andFacebook. potential customers wherever they are. The company recentlycom” launched their full catalog as a store on Facebook, which is embedded as an app within the company’s Facebook page. While JCPenney deserves kudos for many features, there remains a significant gap between the shopping experience on Facebook and that on JCPenney.com. Important (and best practice) information needed for purchase conversion, like size charts, fabric content, and care instructions is missing, e.g. what age child does that size M boys swimsuit correspond to? Out of stock notifications don’t come until after placing an item into your bag. One of the app’s strengths is the ability for existing JCPenney.com customers to checkout using their existing JCPenney.com account, an important best practice. The core shopping user experience and associated best practices are retailers’ strengths to leverage in a social context. 1 http://on.fb.me/fjeexJ Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 6
  7. 7. The JCPenney shopping app includes solid social sharingfunctionality, such as the Like button and Comments plugin, whichdisplays the shopper’s profile picture and enables that person toshare comments about products to their profile and friends.Social features that JCPenney could add to further enrich both theirshopping app on Facebook.com and their own website include:Applying social data to streamline the checkout processTapping into a shopper’s profile data to streamline the checkoutprocess can increase conversion and improve the user experience.When JCPenney launched the shopping app, it asked forpermissions upfront, but the company pulled the permission stepoff when people balked at some of the requests. Facebook bestpractices are to only ask for permissions at the time they areneeded, to ask only for the data needed, and to provide a clearexplanation2. For example, JCPenney could ask for access to a2To learn more about best practices for using social data, visit:http://info.gigya.com/Whitepaper-Social-Data.htmlFacebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 7
  8. 8. shopper’s profile data at the time a new account is created, and include an explanation about how that data will be used. Facebook has also recently released a Registration plugin to help sites capture”Social and data during the sign-up process, with shopper permission.Commerceexpertise is Personalization and social contextrapidly Social technologies enable personalization and social context forconverging products, ratings and reviews. For example, what products have my– major friends reviewed or rated? JCPenney could also provide productcommerce recommendations based on a person’s Likes and the Likes of his orplatforms her friends.areintegrating Social shopping featuressocial Enabling people to shop together with friends, create wish lists, ormodules in ask friends about specific products could truly tap into the power ofearly 2011” the social graph people maintain on Facebook. This would provide an additional opportunity for JCPenney to ask for permissions that shoppers would readily give in exchange for a valuable user experience. Game Mechanics Adding elements of game mechanics, which are essentially social rewards programs, to existing frequent shopper programs can increase margins. Alternating virtual and monetary rewards, like expedited shipping and fun virtual goods, for taking actions like sharing products with friends is just one possibility. Social and eCommerce expertise is rapidly converging. In early 2011, major ecommerce platform vendors will make modules available that are built in conjunction with social technology and Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 8
  9. 9. usability experts to deliver social features seamlessly to their own websites and wherever their customers are on the web.”Close the #3 Close the loop to enable seamless shoppingloop with Retailers have rapidly embraced the “Like” button on their websitesFacebook to drive word-of-mouth. But providing seamless social shoppingshoppers means recognizing people as customers as well as Facebook usersby wherever they are. To do so effectively, retailers can developenabling ongoing communications to reach those customers while they aresocial-sign- spending time on Facebook, as well as incorporate powerfulon to personalization activity into their own sites. For multi-channelpower site retailers, this can also include web to in-store promotions.registrationand other Targeted communications on Facebooksocial When consumers click the Like buton next to a product, it can openfeatures” up a communication channel between the site and that consumer on Facebook. If the Like button has been integrated through the Open Graph protocol, the site can publish information directly to the Facebook News Feed of all the individuals who have liked the product, and target that information – new products or sales for example – based on the type of item that was liked. Levis, one of the earliest adopters of the Like button, found that this new channel was an extremely effective way to not only reach a younger and typically elusive target audience, but to drive them to their retail site. Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 9
  10. 10. Below, Levis can now easily let the shoppers who liked these jeansknow that they are on sale:Site personalizationPerhaps the greatest potential impact comes from closing the loopwith Facebook users via Social Sign-on. Facebook consumers inparticular are aware that they can use their Facebook credentials toregister or sign-in around the web, as on GiantNerd.com, an onlineretailer of high-end outdoor equipment.Giant Nerd has integrated with Facebook, via the Gigya service, toenable Facebook shoppers to register and sign-in, share content,Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 10
  11. 11. and participate in the GiantNerd community to earn both social and monetary rewards. The site taps into profile data Facebook users have shared to personalize the shopping experience in a variety of”Only when ways.a shopperchooses to When retailers enable their customers and visitors to connect withsign-in with their real identity and friends through Facebook, it opens up a wideFacebook range of opportunities. With social plugins, sites can gatherinformation anonymous and aggregated data from people who have clicked thecan that Like button and garner insights to help in customization, but theysite access do not have access to those people as individuals, i.e. they cannotindividual access individual demographic or other profile or social data. It isLikes and only when a shopper chooses to sign-in to the site with theirother data” Facebook information that a retailer can access to individual data, and can recognize that person uniquely to provide a more personalized shopping experience. Amazon does this quite effectively with their Facebook integration, displaying product recommendations based on customer “likes” as well as friends’ “likes.” The site also displays a list of Facebook friends with upcoming birthdays, and makes gift recommendations. Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 11
  12. 12. Multi-channel retailersSeamless shopping can now cross channels. Facebook has alwaysenabled innovative promotional opportunities on Facebook.comthat drive to retail sites. Now they have released a mobile Dealsproduct, enabling merchants to offer Facebook users deals asindividuals, or together with friends, that are redeemed at bricksand mortar stores.2011 is expected to be a breakout year for social commerce,bringing together the expertise of the retail and social ecosystemsto deliver technologies, services and programs that impact the retailbottom line.About Gigya, IncGigya is a software-as-a-service technology that unifies the mostpopular identity and social providers including Facebook, Twitter,PayPal and LinkedIn and brings the features and benefits tocorporate websites. Gigya enables businesses to deepen customerrelationships and tap existing friend networks, driving socialregistrations, word of mouth at scale, and social interaction forwebsites and applications. In addition, Gigya provides analytics,best practices, consulting and support to optimize everyimplementation. Supporting more than 280 million users eachmonth across more than 500,000 sites, Gigya’s technology is thechoice of global leaders in publishing and commerce including CBS,Fox Sports, Intuit, The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, andTurner Networks. Gigya is a leading company in the Social CRMmarket, which Gartner forecasts to reach $600 million this year.Facebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 12