By Perks |
The only foreseeable problem will be the ability to easily implement these new additions easily and quickly. While large brands can afford to pay developers to create custom solutions for them, smaller brands can’t. When we need to work with smaller brands we bring in established social shopping solutions that can be customized to their brand specifications and marketing needs. Hopefully social shopping vendors add these new changes to their solutions so both large and small brands can benefit from this. We at Perks Consulting are excited about these new viral techniques that will enable brands to connect with potential new customers.
Many of the new features introduced at Facebook’s f8 Developer Conference last Thursday, such as a customizable Open Graph and real-time news Ticker, will have a tremendous impact on social commerce and social shopping in the very near future.
Developers will now be able to build a Facebook commerce experience more relevant to shoppers and also offer more effective social discovery for sellers. Sellers will be able to access new insights into shopper preferences and will use this data to better promote their products. These new opportunities will make the Facebook shopping experience richer and more social.
Here are five ways Facebook’s new features will fuel social commerce and product discovery.
Custom Open Graph gestures will bring a new level of relevance to the Facebook shopping experience. By enabling new buttons such as “Want,” “Own” and “Love,” shoppers will be able to express themselves more specifically around a particular product. Consequently, News Feed stories can also be customized to generate phrases such as “Jim reviewed” or “Jane loved” a particular product. These types of posts will drive much more effective social discovery than a simple “Like” story.
These new buttons will also be used to enrich the social shopping experience within Facebook storefronts themselves. For example, in the future, you will be able to see who “owns” a product you’re considering and connect with that friend for recommendations. This functionality will also enable sellers to engage more deeply with shoppers. For example, if I discover that Jim owns a product in my storefront, I might ask him for a product review.
The new Ticker creates a persistent real-time stream that sellers can use to publicize products to shoppers, just as Ticker allows users to discover music their friends are listening to. For example, if my friend Jane visits a Facebook store and clicks the “Want” button on a product, the resulting Ticker story could read, “Jane wants a Granite Fountain at the Fountain Shop on Facebook.”
As powerful as this capability is, developers should be careful to publish only the activities that shoppers agree to promote. For instance, if a boyfriend is secretly checking out engagement rings, he might not want his whole friend list to know about it.
As part of the new design, Facebook will aggregate application activity to create persistent modules on a person’s Timeline. Different social shopping widgets will post to a person’s profile, such as holiday and birthday wish lists or wedding and baby registries. These lists are created automatically based on the custom action buttons. For example, all “Want” button clicks will create a wish list on the Timeline.
Adding product-focused lists to your profile lets people know what you want, and makes it easier for friends to know what to buy you when those special events come around. Now when your friends get a birthday reminder for you, they can click through to your profile, and may even be able to buy you something from your birthday wish list immediately.
The Ticker will also play a role in promoting these wish lists. Want to remind people about your wish list before your upcoming birthday? Just “Want” a more recent product and it will automatically generate a fresh Ticker story.
Have you ever started to use a new Facebook application, but hesitated when seeing how the application could use your data? The current permissions dialog box did not allow developers to explain why they want your permissions, so users didn’t always have enough information to make an informed decision.
Developers will now have more control over the content displayed in the permissions dialog, and thus can better articulate how a person’s data will be used. Social shopping applications can explain exactly what type of data will be used and what benefits it will provide the shopper; they can even include screenshots of posts that might appear on your Timeline. For example, a permissions dialog might explain that your Facebook interests will be used to provide product recommendations and special deals targeted to you. This option could, in turn, build trust and increase participation by users.
The Facebook custom Open Graph and Ticker opened the door to social music discovery – so why not social shopping as well?
In the near future you might see an “invite friends to shop” button within a social storefront. Clicking on it would generate a post in the Ticker that says, “Jane is shopping for baby strollers.” When a friend clicks on the post, they would be taken to a chat room-style panel or comment box where they can share stroller recommendations. That feedback might become part of the public comments in the store, or may only be visible to the two of you. The end result is that you have enlisted your friend’s help to make a purchase decision, as if you were both shopping together at the mall.
These kinds of experiences are only the beginning. Just as developers have used Facebook to bring people together to play social games, so too will developers use this new functionality to make Facebook shopping a much more interactive — and social — experience.