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Social Commerce: New Research from Gigya and eMarketer on Facebook Best Practices and Personalization Capabilities #scommerce #scrm

Retailers, if your New Year’s Resolution was to bring social features to your own site, you’re in luck. Gigya and eMarketer each released new research papers yesterday focused on the specifics for successful Social Shopping.

eMarketer’s research, titled Social Commerce:Personalized and Collaborative Shopping Experiences touches on several topics related to the future of Social Shopping.

The study answers three questions:

  • What are the benefits of social login?
  • How are retailers leveraging Facebook to create a personalized shopping experience?
  • How are retailers enabling collaborative shopping on their websites?

According to eMarketer, “retailers are exploring a new frontier in social commerce as they go beyond simply offering Facebook pages and Twitter profiles for their customers to follow. Fueling this trend is web retailers’ quick adoption of social login, which allows consumers to log in to their Facebook account instead of registering on an ecommerce site. Social login gives retailers access to rich profile information for targeting customers. eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report believes that ‘Bringing Facebook profile data into retail sites makes sense because it influences consumers when they are close to conversions. In contrast, many consumers on Facebook are mainly socializing with friends and further removed from making purchase decisions.'”

The study references the proprietary research Gigya conducted in August 2010. “The Gigya study highlighted the benefits that online retailers and media-entertainment publishers derive from offering social login. At the top of the list were increased engagement (84%) and richer profile information for targeting product recommendations, emails, promotions and coupons (80%).

‘Social networks like Facebook are a hub of information about people’s likes and interests,’ said Grau. ‘When consumers give a retailer permission to access their personal data on Facebook, the merchant sees not only what those people have written in their profiles but also the content they have ‘liked’ on other sites.'”

Gigya’s latest whitepaper is also focused on eCommerce, titled 3 Best Practices for Facebook eCommerce Success, Social Strategies for Online Retailers,

The paper touches on how the opportunity for word-of-mouth customer referrals driven by social context and a shared shopping experience has become too large to ignore:

  • 67% of shoppers spend more online after recommendations from online community of friends (Internet Retailer, September 2009)
  • 53% of people on Twitter recommend companies and/or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy the product. (ROI Research for Performance, June 2010)
  • Facebook, blogs, Twitter and customer reviews are considered the most effective tactics for mobilizing consumers to talk up products online. (Etailing survey of 117 companies, September 2009)
  • On Black Friday 2010, there were more than 6x the number of Facebook status updates related to retail purchases as on the previous Friday (Facebook, January 2011)

The paper outlines three best practices to help retailers get the most out of Facebook’s enormous and increasing power:

1. Invest equally in integrating Facebook into your own site as in

Many retailers however are focused heavily on their Facebook pages, and aren’t yet tapping into the powerful tools available for their own sites, where, as eMarketer says, people are further down the shopping funnel and can benefit from social context.

2. Incorporate ecommerce and social best practices both on your site and on

Retailers are beginning to experiment with stores on Ensuring these stores meet the high standards of their own corporate sites will help them evaluate these efforts on an even playing field. JCPenney has a full-blown store, learn what features could enrich it socially:

3. Close the loop to enable seamless shopping help retailers in many ways, including tapping into like data on an individual basis. Gigya client Giant Nerd is a best practice example:


The paper can be downloaded for free here.

By Kevin White

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