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The Facebook Like Button's Effect In Ecommerce
By Lauren Smith
12/3/2010 1:14:00 PM

The recent introduction of the Facebook "Like" button to over 50,000 websites is quickly changing the way many customers approach their online purchases. No longer do customers solely depend on word of mouth or expert product reviews from publications such as Consumer Reports. Instead, they can instantly see purchases and reviews from people in their social network. By adopting the “Like” button technology on their websites, retailers have the capability to reach a broader audience than ever before.

Consumers can make a purchase online and click the “Like” button to share the item they just purchased on Facebook. Not only are they showing what they purchased, but they’re also creating a personal endorsement. According to a recent Nielsen study, ninety percent of customers are most likely to trust a review from someone they know. Instead of depending on other customers to make purchases and write a review, customers can instantly be introduced to a new retailer or product through their social network.

While the “Like” option is a great resource for consumers, it is extremely powerful for retailers. By allowing customers to connect with their Facebook account, retailers can gain access to valuable information from Facebook’s Open Graph platform. By using a consumer’s public interests and information, a website can be instantly customized to suit individual users. For example, if John lists skiing as an interest, then visits a sporting goods website through Facebook, that retailer can use the real time data to create a shopping experience unique to John. The front page can show the latest ski wear, popular gear purchases among others with the same interest, and the highest reviews. In his presentation at the Digital Consumer Marketing Summit in Atlanta, Loran McDonald of Silverpop stressed the importance of providing guidance. With so many stores, products, and options, the majority of consumers are seeking a bit of guidance. It’s critical that you as a retailer step in and provide sincere help to your customer. What does this add up to? More conversions.

Maintaining your brand’s presence on Facebook is a must. The opportunity to create a large following of consumers that are loyal to your brand can’t be dismissed. By allowing customers to “like” your brand, “like” individual product pages on your site, and share reviews and purchases with their network gives you an unlimited audience. With this capability, even small retailers without large advertising budgets can increase their visibility and revenue. Using Facebook interests as a starting point, ecommerce retailers can create personalized shopping experiences that brick and mortar stores simply can’t provide.

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Categories: SEO, social media, Commerce Insights Blog, Social Commerce
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