RSR Research: Facebook Open Graph and Graphite
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of an article from Retail Paradox, Retail Systems Research’s weekly analysis on emerging issues facing retailers.
There’s one area where Facebook has been less than a roaring success — in helping retailers actually sell stuff. The "like" button just didn’t do the job and companies like J.C. Penney and Amazon started and then stopped selling on the network. According to e-marketing firm 8thBridge, 57 percent of users "liking" a product already own it.
Facebook’s answer? Open Graph.
Open Graph allows users to do something more than just "like" something. Users can "want," "wear," "own," and even "need" something they see on Facebook. And 8thBridge thinks it’s got just the tool to mine and extend Open Graph to drive real revenue within Facebook’s boundaries, while still emphasizing the retailer’s brand, not just Facebook’s. It’s new product Graphite officially launched on April 25, already with a stable of pre-launch customers.
The Graphite concept goes like this:
- The Open Graph buttons aren’t just Facebook blue. They can becustomized to match the look and feel of the brand being liked, wanted or owned.
- Bridal registries? Who needs them when a Facebook user can identify everything he or she wants for a gift?
- Pinterest? I’ve been a bit lukewarm to this already, but in fact, Open Graph and Graphite extend Facebook into a better picture of the person, not just of their "stuff". When you couple Open Graph with the Timeline, a picture of a person emerges across time. Their changing tastes, their seemingly chaotic paths to purchase spelled out in detail, the incomprehensible becomes manageable. Big data tamed.
- One-to-one marketing? Graph’s API can drive an email trigger for a great price on an item a Facebook user has said she "wants."
Similarly — much like Amazon’s been doing for years — the enhanced Graph
API will allow the retailer to create interesting cross-sell recommendations or other "things you might like" based on the data gathered.
All this can be accomplished by marketing, with minimal interaction with IT. Why am I cringing? Because you know that won’t last forever, and IT will have one more thing to play catch-up with. Still, I am obligated to tell you this. Minimal IT intervention. Period.
We think Graphite and Open Graph are definitely worthy of a look. After all, can any of us afford to ignore a crowd of 901 million Facebook subscribers?
I’m still not sure I understand why Instagram was worth a billion dollars. I don’t pretend to understand what its recent purchase of AOL’s patents will amount to. But I can understand the concept of "want," "wear," and "own." I’m intrigued.
- Facebook Open Graph and Graphite: Can F-Commerce Succeed? – RSR Research
- 8thBridge Launches a New Era of Social Commerce With the Industry’s First Multi-Channel Social Commerce Platform – 8thBridge
- 8thBridge Graphite Product Launch Event – YouTube
- I think I more than ‘like’ you – Star Tribune
Discussion Questions: Will Open Graph incent customers to actually buy on Facebook? What do you think of an app tool such as Graphite as an e-commerce link for retailers?