Quidsi Selling Diapers, Soap on Facebook

Jan 17, 2011
George Anderson

There were probably quite a few reasons that Amazon.com
thought Quidsi, owner of Diapers.com, Soap.com and BeautyBar.com, was worth
over $500 million to acquire. (The deal has not yet closed.) Among those reasons
may be Quidsi’s announcement last week that it is offering existing customers
one-stop online shopping for all its sites on Facebook.

Josh Himwich, VP of
e-commerce solutions at Quidsi, told RetailWire, “We
know that seven percent of everyone who comes to Diapers(.com) or Soap(.com)
were at Facebook before they came to us and our best metrics suggest that about
three to four percent of people after they leave Diapers or Soap go to Facebook.”

major challenge trying to sell on Facebook, according to Mr. Himwich, is that
the site offers an environment based on communicating between friends and not
selling items. That, he said, required a different approach, more like selling
through mobile devices.

“Mobile is all about micro task. People only have two minutes that they’re
gonna give you, (so) if you could only have two minutes, what would you want
them to do?” Mr. Himwich said.

The “what” Quidsi wants consumers
to do is reorder from one or more of its sites, so each of its three Facebook
pages contain a “Shop My List” tab
that enables consumers to order from Diapers.com, Soap.com and BeautyBar.com
all in one place.

The Facebook approach for Quidsi is all about helping current
shoppers complete microtasks. Instead of running out to a retail store to make
a purchase late at night, they can simply reorder during their Facebook time.

Facebook - Quidsi

“Right now all you can do with this is reorder from past purchases, but
for a lot of people that is 80 percent of what they need week to week. For
example, on my list right now for diapers and soap, I have 57 items that I’ve
purchased over the past six months. And so almost anything that I might possibly
ever need is on that list. I’m not gonna get a new kind of paper towel every
time (I shop),” Mr.
Himwich told RetailWire.

Quidsi plans to run Facebook ads on the pages
of consumers who “like” Diapers.com,
Soap.com and BeautyBar.com.

“There are no wasted clicks on this. You can take them right to the app.
So you can have compelling calls to remind them to shop within Facebook,” Mr.
Himwich said. “We are very excited about that part, about how simple and
targeted and low cost it’s gonna be for us to reach the exact costumers that
we need on Facebook.”

Discussion Questions: What do you see as the challenges and opportunities associated with trying to sell on Facebook? What do you think about the approach that Quidsi is taking?

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13 Comments on "Quidsi Selling Diapers, Soap on Facebook"

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Paula Rosenblum
10 years 3 months ago

I’m just a little confused. This is not new for Amazon – the company is already the vehicle used to sell Pampers directly on Facebook.

Looking at the bigger picture, I don’t quite understand why shopping within Facebook is more efficient for the consumer than just going to a website. It’s clearly more efficient for the supplier – for a product like diapers or soap, it’s easier than creating an entire microsite outside Facebook.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
10 years 3 months ago

Is this the next wave for Facebook? I perceive Facebook and the other social media sites as the equivalent to the digital backyard fence where people have conversations about things that are on their mind. As such, it represents a terrific listening opportunity. As a result, care should be given to not interrupting these conversations to talk about special offers or use the opportunity for direct marketing.

Yes, social media is relatively new, but here to stay. It is interactive, fast, transient, immediate, and growing. In this most recent example of a growth option one needs to address the issues I raised in paragraph one.

Max Goldberg
10 years 3 months ago

The idea is to put a store wherever consumers gather. Over 500 million consumers are gathered at Facebook. Why not erect a store? Quidsi understands this and knows that it only has a brief window to complete the sale. Hats off to them for experimenting with Facebook. Look for more retailers to mirror Quidsi’s efforts.

David Biernbaum
10 years 3 months ago

The metrics are what drive many companies decisions to sell product to and through Facebook, and the metrics will continue to pile on that way in at least the near- and medium-term future.

Cathy Hotka
10 years 3 months ago

Consumers can indicate that there are certain items they want delivered on a regular basis over time–like magazines and newspapers–but not other items. Why not take the next step and let customers subscribe to laundry soap, diapers, and other must-haves?

Mark Burr
10 years 3 months ago

There is no downside to this opportunity. None. It’s a great move and a move that will become a tidal wave of suds.

Anne Howe
10 years 3 months ago

Bring the store to the traffic vs. bring the traffic to the store. Make the shopper experience painless, easy, and add the social component to spread the word. What’s not to love? I expect more of this and while it’s new and scary to many, the efficiency/experience combination is pretty darn powerful. And, there is a “coolness” factor that can’t be beat.

Joan Treistman
10 years 3 months ago

As more and more people spend more and more of their time on Facebook, it becomes the start point for daily activities such as shopping. The article points out how Quidsi has created an efficient and easy way for consumers to get what they want when they want it. There seems little doubt that the Facebook net is a wonderful place for shoppers and retailers to meet and transact.

James Tenser
10 years 3 months ago

Quidsi on Facebook seems to be about enabling purchases via the mobile/smartphone platform. That’s a different animal than traditional e-retailing, even though both use online methods.

For young couples with babies, with mode of interaction may feel comfortable. Older folks will find it strange or even un-needed–but it’s really not about them anyway.

This development makes me curious about how Amazon visualizes its future in a world where most of its interactions could be pocket-sized (that is on the smart-phone screen).

Craig Sundstrom
10 years 3 months ago

“The major challenge trying to sell on Facebook, according to Mr. Himwich, is that the site offers an environment based on communicating between friends and not selling items.”

(There…seldom has answering the QOD been so easy!) And beyond that, we have here the low-cost, low-margin items which weren’t good candidates for e-selling 10 years ago; do they make sense now??? I have doubts.

Ralph Jacobson
10 years 3 months ago

As active as millions of adult consumers are on Facebook today, this makes perfect sense. The key is to move with or even ahead of the trends as FB wanes in the future and the wave of consumers moves to the next big thing.

Gina Rau
Gina Rau
10 years 3 months ago

It’s no coincidence when a leading online retailer moves in this direction and we’re going to see a lot more of this in 2011. The influencers in online retail will move first, as they usually do.

People are already on Facebook to manage communication with friends, learn more about brands and products, and share their thoughts throughout the day. Why not take another item off their to-do list by reordering diapers…they’re already there! It’s easy, convenient, and saves time.

Herb Sorensen
10 years 3 months ago

Quidsi/Amazon on Facebook has conceptually moved the whole camel into the tent. Since Facebook is also highly mobile, this sends Amazon (the premier world SELLER) further into Bricks-and-mortar stores. Continuing the Convergence of Online, Mobile and Bricks-and-mortar (COMB) retailing. On, ON!


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