November 24, 2010, 8:38 AM

Shoebuy aims to lure shoppers with free Facebook Credits

The web-only retailer says social gamer demographics mirror its customer base.

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Shoebuy.com today announced the launch of a promotion in which it rewards consumers who make a purchase with Facebook Credits, the social network giant’s virtual currency. Social gamers can use those credits to buy digital goods and services on more than 200 online games such as Zynga Game Network Inc.’s “FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars: Las Vegas” on Facebook.

“This is the time of year when shopping gets particular attention in a variety of ways,” says James Keller, chief marketing officer of Shoebuy, No. 77 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “That’s why we thought it was important to make sure to keep shopping fun.”

The promotion, which Shoebuy launched using technology from e-marketing firm Ifeelgoods, will give consumers 50 Facebook Credits for each purchase.

“Social gaming on Facebook and other places has become hugely popular with hundreds of millions of consumers playing these games,” says Keller. “We’ve found that there’s great overlap between the types of folks who like to play social games and Shoebuy customers.”

That’s because the average U.S. consumer playing a social game is a 43-year-old woman with children, he says. “That mirrors who is shopping on our site.”

Shoebuy plans to advertise the promotion on Facebook, as well as throughout its site. After a consumer completes checking out on the site, she can click on a link to redeem the Facebook Credits.  

The campaign will be Ifeelgoods’ first integration of its technology with a retailer. The e-marketing firm, co-founded by former Shop.org executive director Scott Silverman, launched in September with the goal of offering an Internet-hosted application that provides for simple integration between retail web sites and social games. The company suggests that Facebook Credits represent a more cost-effective promotional tool for retailers compared with free shipping and price discounts.

Shoebuy declined to disclose the cost of the promotion.

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