This is a guest blog post by Natasha Attal, a social media marketer from Composure Marketing. She helps businesses expand their presence online and writes on the Composure blog where she discusses social media news and optimizing content for effective outreach. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and via email at Natasha@composuremarketing.com if you want to get in touch with her directly.
As companies learn how to expand their presence online, they are also starting to understand the impact of adding social commerce to their Facebook pages. Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce where companies can sell their products and/or services via social networks and is a rapidly growing trend, particularly on Facebook. Although using the wall on your Facebook page to promote products can be very effective if done in a careful way, for those that want to take further control of how they provide their products to customers on Facebook, building an e-commerce tab is the way to go. I have established shopping tabs for clients and have seen direct revenue increases from the e-commerce integration. Facebook has become a central hub where people can communicate with friends, connect with brands and now even shop without ever having to leave the comfort of their Facebook account. Social commerce is a great way to extend brand reach and listen to what your customers want from your brand. Social media and its rise is all about the power of listening and sharing and as e-commerce becomes more social, brands will be able to increase revenue parallel to this shift in how we purchase products.
By creating an e-commerce tab, you can eliminate the need to scream buy, buy, buy on your wall and instead create a venue where people can browse your products in a more focused manner and drive traffic to your brands’ main e-commerce site.
There are two ways that companies can add e-commerce to their Facebook page:
If you have the resources to build the tab, I would highly recommend doing so. By using Facebook Markup Language (FBML), you could develop a highly customized online storefront for customers.
There are agencies that will help your brand build a custom e-commerce tab. Alvenda is a popular company that has built some great merchant stores on Facebook which have helped customers shop and share their experiences with their friends and family. Alvenda’s portfolio includes custom tabs for 1-800-Flowers, Haute Look, Delta and Hallmark. The advantage of building your own e-commerce tab is the ability to leverage your IT department or the agency you work with to allow the entire purchase to be completed on Facebook. With out of the box e-commerce platforms, the payment process is usually carried over to the brand’s main e-commerce site to complete the purchase.
In this example, Alveda built a tab for Heels.comwhere they sell thousands of shoes within their Facebook storefront.
Once you have finished shopping, you are taken to a simple four step process where you will be prompted to review the cart, enter shipping details, enter payment and place your order.
On the other hand, purchasing a template e-commerce tab is a highly effective way to get started with f-commerce (Facebook e-commerce).ShopTab is an application that allows you to upload all the items you want to include in the e-commerce tab from your website and translates it into a storefront that is simple to navigate. You can even customize the header on the Shop tab to include your logo or any images as long as it fits the size requirements. In addition, the app gives you the option to categorize your items by price and type of product. The company recently upgraded their system so brands can automate the entire process for creating and updating their Facebook ShopTab. The app is a low cost do it yourself, simple to use option that I would highly recommend. ShopTab’s portfolio includes tabs for Silly Bandz, La Petite Coquette, and Zales.
Recently, Barneys New York started using the ShopTab app to display their products through a Facebook e-commerce tab. They are now displaying over 15,000 items and each one of those items has a “share” link that allows Facebook users to share the item with their Facebook friends.
ShopTab has several payment plans, all of which are rather reasonable. See below for details:
$10/month – up to 500 products and unlimited amount of upload
$15/month – up to 1,000 products and unlimited amount of upload
$20/month – up to 5,000 products and unlimited amount of upload
*As a disclosure, please note that Jay Feitlinger, Founder of StringCan Interactive, is also the Founder of ShopTab. I actually connected with Jay after discovering the app and have since worked with him to get e-commerce tabs established for clients and have featured him as a guest blogger at the Composure Marketing blog in the past. The opinions in this post are mine and I was not paid to mention ShopTab.
Where do you see the future of social commerce going and what are some great e-commerce tabs that you want to share? We only mentioned a couple in this post and would love it if you brought to our attention some of your favorites.