9 March 2011 - 10:17am | posted by | 1 comment

E-commerce zooms at new online storefronts: Facebook file/ March 9

E-commerce zooms at new online storefronts: Facebook file/ March 9E-commerce zooms at new online storefronts: Facebook file/ March 9

Everyone marvels at Zynga's success, but could regular companies also strike gold with a storefront on Facebook?

Yes, seems to be the answer as business readers told the Chronicle about their Facebook e-commerce experiences.

A CEO at a big e-commerce company said he'd had five meetings with the social network over the past month, and that "all companies are working with Facebook to sell more things on Facebook and do customer support".

Two firms added to the go-go message:

Company No 1, Incipio Technologies, sells iPhone and other gadget cases and peripherals. Conversion rate among shoppers referred by Facebook is 2X the average. The number adding products to a cart is 3X the average.

President Andy Fathollahi said he "would love" Facebook to expand Facebook Credits beyond virtual goods, and into e-commerce. He'd pay 5% per transaction, about the same as PayPal but less than the 30% Facebook charges virtual goods dealers

Company No 2, SoftPrice.com, has set up more than 1,500 Facebook storefronts for retail clients. It charges them on a subscription basis and that includes building a Facebook storefront.

It says those retailers have put $3.78 billion worth of merchandise on Facebook – 7.6 million products in 53,000 categories.

One is top basketball team the Dallas Mavericks. Owner Mark Cuban, says he would also happily pay a 5% fee for Facebook Credits. He added, "You have to be where customers want to buy."
 

Comments

10 Mar 2011 - 12:49
zibaba's picture

More retail outlets are turning to social media to display catalogs. But they are also looking for more than branding. They are looking for ROI. It is still unknown whether a Facebook store can actually bring in the revenues in the way that regular web stores currently do. But the audience is right, advertising can be targeted and people can shop within their 'comfort zone' of Facebook.

Online retailers should look at all of the current offerings for Facebook stores. Some are merely catalogs that completely redirect to the merchant's own website. Others offer the tools to see descriptions and product information and then perform the redirect to the merchant's store. And some offer full e-commerce integration.

Zibaba (http://www.zibaba.com) offers both of these options. Additionally, Zibaba allows the merchants to setup Group Offers directly from their Facebook fan page store. This increases brand loyalty and in turn, over time, increases product sales.

From the marketing perspective, many retailers are opening stores on Facebook and do not know how to promote them. After all, it's a social media site and everything around it requires social media interaction. Therefore, the same level of social media interaction is required with a Facebook store front.

Zibaba, however, has taken marketing efforts into consideration and developed an affiliate network within Facebook. A marketplace where affiliates can choose which merchants to promote and then go ahead and market their stores. Unlike other affiliate networks, the joining fee is zero, there is no minimum monthly commitment and there is no technical implementation for tracking, as everything is tracked using the Facebook store technology.

An example of two fashion brands currently using the Zibaba storefront are: Laura Moore Fashion http://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Moore-Fashion/281298977032 And Bank Fashion http://www.facebook.com/BANKofficial?sk=app_144440148901844

Choice is the right of every individual. But wouldn't you choose something that really gives your brand the edge?

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