January 1, 2011, 12:00 AM

J.C. Penney plays up its social scene with Facebook shopping

The department store chain’s new Facebook shopping application allows shoppers to cull through its product offerings and complete a transaction without leaving the social network.

Now shoppers can have their Facebook and their J.C. Penney, too.

The big department store chain last month launched a Facebook shopping application that allows consumers to cull through its offerings and complete a transaction without leaving the social network.

By making shopping more accessible, J.C. Penney aims to drive sales, says Nick Bomersback, vice president of customer experience. J.C. Penney is No. 16 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

“We hope that by helping our fans share items they like with their friends and by providing suggested items or categories of merchandise in posts to our fans that can be immediately purchased without leaving Facebook, we’ll encourage our fans to shop on Facebook,” he says. “We believe this will make it easier for fans and customers to see a great item or a special offer and respond.”

The retailer worked with technology vendor Usablenet to launch the shopping feature, which allows consumers to search, share, click that they Like, discuss and purchase items without leaving Facebook.

A shopper can access the shopping application via a Shop tab on the retailer’s Facebook page. After clicking the tab, she has to give permission to allow shopjcpenney to access certain Facebook information, such as her name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, list of friends and any other information that she has shared with everyone in her network. The consumer can browse through 11 departments that feature some of the inventory from J.C. Penney’s JCP.com, including women’s apparel, jewelry and watches. Each product page features an image of the product, a short product description, a Share button that allows a consumer to post comments about the product on her wall and a Like button.

After finding what she is looking for, she can click Add to Bag and complete the transaction.

J.C. Penney follows retailers like the Limited and 1-800-Flowers.com in attempting to leverage Facebook as a selling channel. Those retailers have yet to disclose sales on the platform.

zak@verticalwebmedia.com

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