October 1, 2010, 3:59 PM

Procter & Gamble sells on Facebook with help from Amazon

The manufacturer is selling diapers and more via its Pampers Facebook page.

Lead Photo

P&G enables consumers to buy diapers via Facebook, with help from Amazon.

Procter & Gamble has launched a service that enables consumers to use Amazon.com and Facebook to restock their supplies of Pampers diapers and buy other P&G items while on the social network site.  

The consumer packaged goods manufacturer said this week it is selling diapers and wipes as well as products from other P&G brands, such as Tide, Or al B. and Olay, via its Pampers Facebook page. Consumers click a Shop Now tab on the page to complete their orders and check out through Amazon.com.

Pampers is using Amazon WebStore, an invitation-only initiative launched in March that enables select sellers to build and operate an e-commerce business that can integrate with Amazon services such as Selling on Amazon and Fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon WebStore provides the shopping cart and checkout capabilities. P&G did not disclose what it pays Amazon for the service. Amazon.com Inc. is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

P&G Facebook shoppers will receive free shipping on orders of more than $25 and free two-day shipping if they are members of Amazon Prime, Amazon.com’s loyalty program. In addition to buying on Facebook, consumers also have the option to click on links within the Shop Now hub to view Pampers products at e-retailers including Amazon.com, Kmart.com and Target.com, and then check out there. P&G says its Pampers page has 350,000 Facebook fans. The manufacturer says it plans to sell goods via its other brands' Facebook pages and add more retailers in the coming months.

"The launch of the Facebook e-commerce capabilities via the Pampers fan page presents another example of how Pampers strives to be there for parents where they live, work and play—in this case, at one of their favorite online communities," says Jodi Allen, vice president of North America Baby Care at Procter & Gamble. "We are so thrilled to have such a dynamic, active community on our Facebook page, and want to find ways to provide benefits to our most loyal fans."

The new Facebook shopping channel will reach a large audience that has already shown enthusiasm for buying goods via the social network. Procter & Gamble tested the concept in February, selling its new Pampers Cruisers with Dry Max diapers on the P&G fan page nearly three weeks before the product hit stores. In less than one hour, P&G sold all of the 1,000 packs it had set aside for the trial.

With that test, P&G used software from interactive marketing firm Resource Interactive called Off the Wall to post the Pampers Cruisers offer on Facebook fans’ walls. A Facebook user then clicked on the image, which expanded to display information similar to that found on an e-commerce product page, such as the $9.99 price. The consumer then made her selection, entered her shipping and payment information, and clicked the Buy button to complete the transaction.

Keeping chummy relationships with the thousands of retailers that sell its goods is a top priority for P&G. Not wanting to compete with its resellers, P&G has long been reluctant to sell directly to consumers. Over the last year, however, it began dabbling in selling online.  It launched its own PGeStore.com in May that allows shoppers to buy P&G products such as Tide detergent and Gillette razors, but said the main aim of the site was to gather intelligence on consumer preferences, not to complete with chain retailers.

Retailers also are beginning to use Facebook, with more than 500 million active users, to sell goods. A handful of retailers, including 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. and Avon Products Inc.’s Mark cosmetics brand, allow Facebook members to shop directly on a fan page without ever leaving the site. Other retailers use vendors such as ShopVisible and Payvment to create a Facebook shop on their fan pages. These stores typically enable a retailer to feature a few products with pictures and descriptions, but have shoppers click through to the retailer’s e-commerce site to buy.

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