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Archive for the ‘Social shopping’ Category
There is an opportunity for online retailers to leverage Facebook login (formerly known as Facebook Connect) to streamline the checkout process. I wanted to share what skechers.com did and while not perfect, it’s a good start.
The first checkout screen presents the traditional options but adds the option to use Facebook/Twitter.
When clicking on the Facebook login button , the user is prompted to grant Skechers permission to access his/her account
Next, the user is taken to the account page which I found a bit confusing. I would expect to arrive directly to the next page where I can fill additional data and submit my order.
So I had to click “checkout now”, and then we see the value of Facebook login. Skechers fills some of the information for me (First and Last name) and it also has my email address (from my Facebook account). For some reason , the country was not automatically selected for me.
Next steps are the typical additional checkout pages you would expect to see. What do you think? Do consumers prefer to checkout using their social network profiles on skechers.com?
Most of the targeting done today is based on intent and behavior. For example offering promotions to new visitors or changing landing pages banners dynamically based on search keywords or Geolocation.
We think that the next level of targeting and personalization will be based on information derived from the shopper’s social network profile.
60 Million people used Facebook connect in 2009. This number is amazing if you consider the disaster Facebook Beacon program created not long ago. The main difference is that now, users explicitly allow Facebook to access their information and have full control over the information that is published to their wall.
While the basic Facebook login provides is a 1 click signup process, it presents many untapped opportunities for online retailers to differentiate themselves using this technology, and personalize the shopping experience.
Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking about the new possibilities Facebook login opens up:
- Welcome shoppers who have upcoming birthdays, with a special message or even better with a credit towards their next purchase
- Show shoppers pictures of friends with upcoming birthdays and recent products they added to their wish list (Amazon already does that)
- Identify shoppers with high social capital (for example more than 500 friends) and offer them incentives to perform social actions on the site such as “become a fan”
- Music stores could promote products based on artists and bands the shopper “likes”
- Simple viral promotions that use “invite friends” functionality will be much more effective than asking users to enter email addresses of their friends to get a discount
These are just a few examples we have started to experiment with . There are many creative ways you can engage customers who login using Facebook.
A few days ago Facebook announced their latest platform direction, the “Open Graph”. If you remember at some point Facebook tried “Beacon” which handled privacy miserably and failed. 2 years ago Facebook Connect was announced and was supposedly a big success but is now renamed “login” and is part of the new Open Graph and social widgets initiative.
The major change that Facebook is introducing is the “like” functionality which allows users to interact with the site and to see friends’ activity without connecting to Facebook if they are currently logged-in to Facebook. This is similar to “share this” in many ways. While this is probably going to increase engagement on the site, it is important to understand that as an e-commerce site you don’t establish relations with the user and don’t get access to the his/her data in this “like” model. Only when user connect or log- in to Facebook on your site, you get access to their data. So while the Open Graph could make e-commerce sites more social and engaging (see www.levi.com for example) it is recommended to drive users to login using Facebook on your site so that you can establish direct relationship with the user.
Last year we introduced our social widgets. Here is an example for our social wishlist widget:
We used Facebook connect and therefore participating sites had direct relationships with the users.
This is how it looks when I “liked” a product on levi.com
In this case only Facebook knows that I like the product but Levi.com does not, as I have not logged-in.
We are quite happy to see Facebook actively leading this revolution. As a personalization vendor we recognized the synergies between social networks and personalization early on, and leveraged infomration from Facebook in a unique way that is optimized for e-commerce sites. The new developments from Facebook will allow us to continue and innovate and make shopping more personal and social.
With all the buzz around social shopping, web 2.0 and widgets people often ask us what is the difference between Facebook connect and a “share this” button you see on many product pages of online retail sites.
The main difference is that users who click on a Facebook connect button become your registered users. That’s right, by simply logging into their Facebook account on your eCommerce site they created an account with you. Depending on the user’s privcay policy you may access valuable information including birthday, interests which you can use to personalize and enhance the user’s shopping experience.
When visitors on your website uses the share button they do not become registered users on your site and and you have no records of them.
When implementing a Facebook connect application you can also start communicating with users via email. You need to ask the user for special permissions right after they connect. This will enable you to email them without asking them for their email address. Your emails will be routed by Facebook to the email address they had registered with Facebook.