3 best practices for facebook ecommerce success

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  • 1. 3 Best Practices for FacebookeCommerce SuccessSocial Strategies for Online RetailersRapidly or reluctantly, retailers are adding social channels and toolsto their arsenal, urged on by customers and competitors who arealready using them.But these are not the only forces driving retailers towards socialcommerce. No longer hype, the opportunity for word-of-mouthcustomer referrals driven by social context and a shared shoppingexperience 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. 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 theof Facebook status updates related to retail purchases as onpower of the previous Friday (Facebook, January 2011)socialwhileFacebook in particular has become increasingly important tocreating aretailers in the past year. Half of the top 25 retailers have integratedcustomerFacebook into their own sites, as have 17 of the fastest growing 25experienceretailers, a telling statistic. In 2010 Facebook created a new team tothatwork with retailers and help them best leverage Facebook Platformsupportsproducts such as the Like button and login to drive business.yourbrandThere are a plethora of powerful tools, but three best practices willhelp you effectively tap that power while creating a customerexperience 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 shoppingFacebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com 2 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 asocial 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 RetailerWere 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.com3 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 a2011 is consistent brand experience for your customers wherever they are,the year ofand in getting the most out of your entire social investment.integratingsocial withAt the most basic level, integrating Facebook into your own retailthesite means you dont have to send your customers away to becorporatesocial. You can add social context and create a loop betweensite - dont 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 Practiceswww.gigya.com 4 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. right. According to Facebook, people who click the Like button onexternal sites have 2.4x the number of friends than the averageFacebook user, and click on 5.3x more external links, so ensuringTried andyou connect with these word-of-mouth advocates is not just a nicetrue online to have, its a must-have1.retail bestpractices #2 Design for the best of ecommerce and social both on yourstill apply site and offwhenTried and true eCommerce best practices still apply when designingdesigning a commerce experience on Facebook.com, just as social bestyourpractices still apply when integrating social features into yourcommercewebsite. JCPenney has a history of running innovative socialexperiencecampaigns on Facebook, and has proven they are not afraid tooniterate quickly and learn how best to engage customers andFacebook.potential customers wherever they are. The company recentlycomlaunched their full catalog as a store on Facebook, which isembedded as an app within the companys Facebook page.While JCPenney deserves kudos for many features, there remains asignificant gap between the shopping experience on Facebook andthat on JCPenney.com. Important (and best practice) informationneeded for purchase conversion, like size charts, fabric content, andcare instructions is missing, e.g. what age child does that size Mboys swimsuit correspond to? Out of stock notifications dont comeuntil after placing an item into your bag. One of the apps strengthsis the ability for existing JCPenney.com customers to checkout usingtheir existing JCPenney.com account, an important best practice.The core shopping user experience and associated best practicesare retailers strengths to leverage in a social context.1 http://on.fb.me/fjeexJFacebook eCommerce Best Practices www.gigya.com6 7. The JCPenney shopping app includes solid social sharingfunctionality, such as the Like button and Comments plugin, whichdisplays the shoppers 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 shoppers 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 Practiceswww.gigya.com7 8. shoppers 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 captureSocial anddata during the sign-up process, with shopper permission.Commerceexpertise is Personalization and social contextrapidlySocial technologies enable personalization and social context forconverging products, ratings and reviews. For example, what products have my majorfriends reviewed or rated? JCPenney could also provide productcommerce recommendations based on a persons Likes and the Likes of his orplatformsher 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 Practiceswww.gigya.com 8 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 withRetailers have rapid