Home  › Social › Social Media
facebook-gifts

The Pinterization of E-Commerce

  |  October 11, 2012   |  Comments

More online merchants are incorporating hunting/gathering of products on their sites.

Our screen lives may be overtaking our time spent in meatspace, but we approach digital media with brains honed for hunting and gathering in the savannahs. Maybe that's why Pinterest is so satisfying - and why more online merchants are incorporating hunting/gathering of products on their sites.

Facebook is testing Collections, basically a new ad unit that lets brands merchandise items by grouping them according to themes and adding copy. Collections appear in the brand's timeline, such as Pottery Barn's Thanksgiving Essentials collection, posted on Wednesday.

Fans can like an item and comment on it within their own timelines. But if they want to buy, copy includes links to featured items on the Pottery Barn website.

8thBridge is another company that aims to help online retailers latch onto pin-style sharing. On Wednesday, it released Graphite 2, a social commerce technology that includes Curation & Discovery, a feature that lets consumers organize the things they like on the brand's website by creating boards or collections of items that go together. These collections are shared on the user's Facebook timeline, and into the ticker and newsfeeds of their friends.

DebShops.com, an 8thBridge customer, beta tested this and other new features. In the first two weeks of the beta test, more than 2,000 items were curated, according to Jon Kubo, chief product officer for 8thBridge.

Kubo said that Facebook Collections is complementary to his company's offering. While Facebook allows brands to see collections of a few top sellers, retailers will get more sales lift with what he called long-tail curation - 20 or 30 collections around every product.

"Curation needs a lot of people during the curating," he said. While the likelihood that anyone's Facebook friends will want to buy something from a collection, browsing through curated collections on a retailer's website is a good way to discover products - no matter who has done the collecting, Kubo said. "Where true discovery and shopping will occur is on the website."

facebook-gifts Recently, Facebook also launched Gifts, a selection of under $25 items that people can buy on Facebook and ship to friends.

Facebook Gifts could simply be a ploy to show investors that Facebook can come up with new revenue streams, said Social Media Consultant Paul Chaney. In any case, it doesn't jibe with successful social shopping strategies.

"Anything you do inside a social network, as it relates to commercial activity, has to focus on social utility, either solving people's problems socially or solving social problems, for example, the need to stand out or fit in," Chaney said. But the generic and impersonal gifts made available through the service - Starbucks cards, cupcakes, socks, and the like - are unlikely to do either.

Kubo also had doubts about Facebook Gifts. While $25 or less is a price point at which people are more likely to put aside privacy and security concerns to buy from a new online retailer, he said it's too cheap for real friends, while people may be leery of status updates touting their gifting behavior.

This is far from the first time that Facebook has taken a play from another company's social media playbook. It launched Facebook Deals in March 2011, then ditched Deals in August. It folded Places, its Foursquare wannabe, a month later.

Said Chaney, "Facebook Collections is a shot across the bow of what Pinterest is doing. Facebook is in an enviable position in that it can try and fail and still keep going. It's tried deals and email messaging, which hasn't taken off. I think a lot of this is experimentation and if it doesn't work, on to next thing."

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Kuchinskas

Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

Jobs

    • SEO Specialist
      SEO Specialist (NJM Insurance Group) - West TrentonNew Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company is an industry leader among its peers and the largest...
    • Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist
      Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist (HeBS Digital) - New York  JOB TITLE:        ...