Consumers can shop clothing retailer StyleQ from within Facebook and post their activity to a news feed that their Facebook friends can see. The retailer is using an application from technology provider Adgregate Markets.
Facebook users who visit StyleQ’s Facebook page can shop by selecting the Shop tab, which then opens a page on the site featuring the retailer’s inventory.
The page also allows users to click that they “like” particular products, share purchases with Facebook friends, rate and review products on Facebook, register wish lists and gift registries and receive Facebook-exclusive promotional offers. Facebook recently changed the way users show approval for a brand, giving them the option of hitting a “like” button rather than becoming a “fan.”
Unlike many other Facebook e-commerce applications, the Adgregate Markets program, called ShopFans, is not a widget. Rather, it was built as a Facebook Platform application, which means that Facebook members’ interactions with ShopFans are noted in the Facebook news feed. That’s a big deal because the feed, which shows users the Facebook activity of their friends on the network, is first page members see when they log on to the social network
“We’ve seen some early attempts at social commerce, and despite its namesake, there’s really nothing social about commerce in a widget,” says Henry Wong, Adgregate CEO. “In order for true social shopping to exist, brands need access to holistic solutions which tie into all of the Facebook social hooks, allow users to shop without ever leaving Facebook and provide a secure e-commerce experience.”
Despite Wong’s assertion, some Facebook e-commerce widgets, such as one from technology provider Alvenda, do allow Facebook users to share their shopping interactions via the news feed. Alvenda provides Facebook shopping widgets to Avon’s Mark brand and 1-800-Flowers.