It seems like every media site, online retailer, and startup has a "register or login with Facebook" button now. With Facebook Open Graph, Facebook-influenced commerce is beginning to happen everywhere. Adapting such tools as Facebook login, social plugins, and Open Graph actions provides great opportunities for businesses to pursue real Facebook-influenced commerce and show measurable business return on investment (ROI).
Embracing social login provides the opportunity for e-commerce businesses to access data about customers that the business has never previously had access to before. Consider that "login with Facebook" can help to increase speed and success of a registration process, as well as increase the speed of the checkout process. The common e-commerce issue of shopping cart abandonment can be decreased with the simplicity of Facebook login.
On e-commerce sites such as Handbags.com, consumers can quickly and easily log in, browse, and purchase in minutes. Social login eliminates in the blink of an eye the need to provide repetitive or lengthy personal data and remembering long-forgotten passwords.
As the verbiage on Handbags.com states, if a user logs in with Facebook, she can see what her friends are buying, and she can like, share, and comment on products she wants or loves. With Handbags.com, consumers send friends a $10 coupon and get a $25 coupon if three of them sign up.
Consider when a consumer uses Facebook login, the business (with permission) can pull the consumer's Facebook data and access some of the consumer's Facebook friend data. This information can be used to personalize the online shopping experiences based on past purchases, likes, and preferences quite easily. Probably the best example of this is TripAdvisor, the travel site with 50 million unique monthly visitors. When using Facebook login on TripAdvisor, the site displays reviews and opinions that are directly relevant to the consumer by leveraging the consumer's Facebook friend data. Arguably some of the best recommendations are friend recommendations; with the TripAdvisor Facebook login, the consumer, when deciding on which hotel to book or which restaurant to eat at, is exposed to the suggestions and reviews of her Facebook friends.
On TripAdvisor.com, in my Facebook friend network there are 197 Facebook friends who have written 108 reviews, visited 82 countries and 1,176 cities, have liked 308 objects, and have 180 check-ins. With TripAdvisor I can leverage the collective social intelligence of my friends to help make my next travel bookings.
Social Plugins and Open Graph Actions
Now that the Facebook Open Graph extends past social plugins (aka the like button) to social actions, retailers can integrate deeper into the Facebook consumer experience. Social actions are any action a consumer can take with an object on the retailer's website. These can include shopping actions (verbs) such as want, buy, purchase, love, and heart that can be attached to objects such as shoes, purses, cars, and pretty much anything on the retailer's website. Social commerce companies such as 8thBridge Graphite platform and PowerReviews are launching Open Graph products for retailers.
Fab.com implemented Open Graph actions on its website with the actions: "bought" a product and "faved" a product. It is reporting that since launching with Open Graph in January, referral traffic from Facebook has doubled and membership has grown from 1.8 million to more than 3.2 million users.
Facebook login, social plugins, and Open Graph actions are clearly helping connect consumers with e-commerce websites. With Facebook login, we are seeing ease of site registration, a greater ability for personalization on-site, and increased site traffic. With Open Graph actions, the shopping experience can become more relevant, targeted, and personalized.
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Janice Diner is an award-winning creative director and technologist working in the area of social and emerging media technology and founding partner at Horizon Studios. Janice and her team built CATALYSTA, a sales force activation platform that engages, motivates, and rewards sales teams.
She is a pioneer brand builder in Facebook, serves as an advisor at the MaRS Discovery District, and was a judge at the Cannes Advertising Lions. Janice has a track record of accomplishment developing multiple social initiatives for global brands such as Motorola, LinkedIn Canada, TSN, Sony PlayStation, Hertz Car Rental, LexisNexis, to name a few.
Prior to starting Horizon Studios, Janice has held senior positions at Syncapse, Euro Havas, and Interpublic (Segal Communications).