The last couple of years have focused immense attention on the Social Network.
The ease with which people are creating and expanding networks of contacts has created immense excitement in the business world. Marketing departments of corporate and SMEs are devising ways of tapping these huge databases of prospects. This has given rise to what is called as Social marketing – a more sophisticated form of word-of-mouth marketing. To eCommerce stores, social networks are one of the most fertile catchment areas for new customers, considering that they are already online and need to be just cajoled on to the e-store.
No wonder, a lot of people have been trying to integrate Facebook into their marketing strategies in several different ways. The simplest and most common method has been to create a Facebook Fan page for the eCommerce store’s site, and intimate people about it through online banner ads. To product manufacturers and marketers, the most lucrative method of targeting the social network has been integrating of an on line store within one’s Facebook account, so that one can browse through an webstore after logging into Facebook.
This has also been done before, but a new application, called Magento Facebook App does it in a more comprehensive way. This application enables buyers to shop from a product catalogue that is available on a Magento store through the buyer’s Facebook profile.
How this works:
An eCommerce site can display their Magento store in a user’s Facebook profile through the Facebook app store. The user can browse through the e-store, purchase one or more items and checkout, all within the Facebook account. On completion of purchase, the product and sale info is posted on the users’ wall. Further, there is a “recommend button” for all the products and once the user clicks on the same, the product info will be posted on all the friends’ wall(s), and they too can make the purchase in a similar fashion. Again, the secondary user’s purchase information is posted on all the friends’ walls, thus creating a viral wave of purchase updates.
The extension comes with several features as listed below. All these features integrate or exploit one or more features in Facebook to engage the user, or the user’s contacts. To an eCommerce website, the benefit of doing so is that buyers are spending more time on Facebook as well as the online store, which makes it the most cost-effective method of grabbing prospects’ attention.
The Facebook integration makes the process more convenient to a user/buyer. Because every new visitor to the store is logged into Facebook by default, every new user automatically becomes a registered user, eliminating the need for additional registration. Further, once the eCommerce Store is setup on Facebook with the ready-to-use Facebook online store app, a single Web Store can be run in two domains simultaneously which leads to more eyeballs, and more possibilities of referral marketing which helps increase sales.
Features and benefits:
- Ability to recommend products that appear in the product catalog to contacts in the user’s Facebook network.
- Ability to have every Facebook user invite their friends to the Facebook store.
- Product updates displayed on the costumer’s wall immediately.
- Default Facebook login for every customer/buyer.
- Ability to display any number of categories and products to the Facebook online store, which gives more choice to buyers.
- Checkouts processed via Magento back end thus allowing a secured shopping process.
- Purchase details of the original referrer and referred friends displayed for maximum social impact.
- Homepage design that can be customized as per the online store design.
- Ability to track order details from within the Facebook account.
- Products can be displayed in Grid View or List View.
- Compatible with all Magento supported payment gateways.
- Easy to administer: Admin can update product details and categories in Facebook store and Magento store at the same time, set wall status message and invitation message, customize homepage design, set the number of items to be displayed per page, etc.
To conclude, product manufacturers in the recent past have been devising newer ways of integrating Facebook features into their marketing plans. However, knowing how much of the Facebook features to integrate into the marketing plan, without appearing intrusive, had been quite a dilemma. Hopefully, some of the dilemma must have cleared now, looking at the way applications like Magento Facebook App have been able to smoothly integrate most of the Facebook features, to maximize visibility as well as sales.