When Facebook and commerce are in the same sentence, passions ignite! Most are provocative opinions (very good for getting attention). However, most of these opinions fall short, missing key insights and data (a balanced perspective that informs good decision making).
In my three previous columns, I laid out a practical approach, and data, taking the position that the case for commerce is emerging: Traffic x Conversion x Average order sale = Sales.
I have more data to share that contributes to the emerging case for commerce.
The value of a customer review shared on Facebook is $15.72. Below is the calculation detail.
Download an interactive version of this calculator and plug in your own numbers.
The Case for Commerce Is Emerging
A Forrester report, "Will Facebook Ever Drive eCommerce?" by Sucharita Mulpuru, a woman with deep expertise and someone I very much respect, provides an interesting perspective. She rightly points out bringing Facebook into the e-commerce experience yields results as evidenced by Amazon, PowerReviews, Quorus, Fluid, TurnTo, and others referenced in her report. However (and I know she appreciates a spirited, supported debate), I believe she missed key points, framed the analysis within a declining model (overreliance on Google traffic), and omitted the data that demonstrates there are elements of an emerging case for commerce. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal also missed very key points.
In addition to points made in my earlier three columns, consider this:
Facebook is a net new source of traffic.
Customer Reviews Are Driving Referral Traffic and Sales
The following have published the sales value of a "share" to Facebook:
Some of the other data revealed in our analysis of reviews and Facebook:
Steps to Increase the Number of "Shares" to Facebook
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Cathy has over 20 years of experience in both multichannel and online retail and a deep understanding of consumer needs and goals. Cathy's proven track record spans a range of industries and companies, from start-up ventures to multibillion dollar operations. Cathy is currently a Board Member at Ulta Beauty (ULTA), the largest beauty retailer that provides one-stop shopping for prestige, mass, and salon products and salon services in the United States. She has served as SVP, marketing & sales at PowerReviews, the world's most widely deployed social commerce platform, where she was responsible for overseeing the company's rapid customer and revenue growth. Prior to PowerReviews, Cathy held executive-level positions at Walmart: chief marketing officer Walmart.com, vice president of market development, global e-commerce, and vice president of product management and multichannel integration. Ms. Halligan has also held executive positions with leading retailers Williams-Sonoma, Gymboree, and Blue Nile, and was an associate partner at Prophet, a leading management consulting firm. She started her career as a marketing coordinator at Lands' End.
For real-time social commerce news and updates, follow Cathy on Twitter at @CathyHalligan.
March 19, 2014