Express, a men’s and women’s apparel retailer, has recently launched an ecommerce tab on its Facebook page, allowing consumers to make purchases without leaving the site. Consumers also have the option to post or “share” their transaction on their profile.
There are many ways to expand a Brand’s customer base. With social media outlets continuing to enhance interactions between users, “sharing” transactions provides one more level of connection. With this feature, a customer’s friends and, depending on the privacy settings, the Facebook world will receive a shout-out about the Express Brand.
Sales through Facebook have the opportunity to provide much more customer insight than other sales channels given the profile data members provide, which could be combined with the transaction data. However, it is not clear how much access a Brand could have to that information. Facebook, on the other hand, potentially has both the transaction and profile data. Brands need to give careful thought to whether they want to sell directly through Facebook or have a redirect either to their website or to a microsite specifically for selling to those who came from Facebook. By selling directly on Facebook, the Brand may be opening itself both to Facebook’s security vulnerability reported recently in The Wall Street Journal and Facebook perhaps having access to the Brand’s data to use in furthering its own business model goals.
Donald J. Gallant