Social Shopping Ready for Liftoff
By Tom Ryan
While retailers have been tapping Facebook to show "fans" what’s
new in stores, to hold contests and to post weekly ads, for many, the next
step is building Facebook "stores" that will allow people to shop
without leaving Facebook.
Last week, Procter & Gamble led the way with the launch of a "Shop
Now" e-commerce tab on its Pampers Facebook page, offering consumers a
way to shop without ever leaving the site. The service is powered by Amazon
Webstore, marking Amazon’s first e-commerce storefront on Facebook. In a statement,
P&G said the Pamper’s initiative comes a few months after the brand’s success
with its Facebook pre-sale of Pampers Cruisers with Dry Max, which sold out
its 1000-pack allotment in less than an hour.
"We are so thrilled to have such a dynamic, active community on our Facebook
page, and want to find ways to provide benefits to our most loyal fans," said
Jodi Allen, vice president of North America Baby Care at Procter & Gamble. "Plus,
we are also excited to be the first P&G brand to launch these resources
and are looking forward to rolling this out to other brand Facebook pages in
Speaking to Dow Jones Newswire last week, Ethan Beard, who runs
Facebook’s developer network, predicted social shopping would surge over the
next twelve months. The article cited a recent survey of 135 leading retailers
and consumer goods manufacturers by research firm Altimeter Group that found
86 percent were preparing to launch some sort of social commerce strategy by
"Social commerce will be big and disruptive," Mr. Beard said, referring
to the wide range of social media tools and content, such as user profiles,
customer ratings and reviews, user recommendations and wish lists. All hold
the potential to make online shopping a more social experience. Mr. Beard noted
that brands such as Levi Strauss are embedding Facebook’s "Like" button
on its site. Children’s clothing retailer Tea Collection used it this summer
to let shoppers vote on their favorite items, with the winning piece going
on sale the next day.
In August, U.S. internet users spent 41.1 billion minutes on Facebook, surpassing
Google Inc.’s 39.8 billion minutes for the first time, according to comScore.
"It’s inevitable that e-commerce and Facebook will overlap or collide," Scot
Wingo, chief executive of ChannelAdvisor Corp., a software maker that helps
merchants sell goods on Amazon and eBay, told Dow Jones. "Facebook
will be a top-three channel for all retailers within two or three years."
Discussion Questions: How do you think e-commerce will be transformed
by Facebook and other social media platforms?
- Facebook Sees Social Commerce Reaching Tipping Point – The Wall Street
- Few Retailers Are Bagging Social Commerce Opportunities – Technorati
- Pampers Provides Gateway to E-Commerce on its Facebook Page – Procter & Gamble