February 1, 2011, 12:00 AM

While socializing on Facebook, parents can now buy diapers, too

Quidsi Inc., which operates Diapers.com and several related e-commerce brands, figures social commerce is a way to potentially turn twice-monthly purchases into more daily and weekly purchases.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Social commerce and social media can go well together, but only if the retailer delivers the right pitch to its social network fans, Quidsi Inc. says.

Quidsi, which operates Diapers.com and several related e-commerce brands, last month introduced a shopping component to its Diapers.com, Soap.com and BeautyBar.com Facebook pages. The new shopping mechanism enables users to access their stored shopping lists on Facebook or replenish items they've previously bought without having to leave Facebook.

"We didn't just put up our entire catalog and then force users to leave Facebook and go to another site to start shopping," says Quidsi vice president of e-commerce solutions Josh Himwich. "We built this shopping mechanism to be part of the dialogue."

Quidsi, which in December announced plans to be acquired by Amazon.com for $500 million, has about 60,000 Facebook fans. The new social commerce component was designed and coded in a way that keeps the secure transaction within the confines of the Facebook page, says Himwich. The four-step shopping process on the Facebook page gives shoppers the option to click on a "Shop My Lists" button, view results and sort merchandise alphabetically, confirm a shipping date to their address and ZIP code and place the order.

"We are not trying to disrupt the dialogue between friends, which is a big turn-off," says Himwich. "We designed the page and the shopping component to help customers complete an errand faster and have more time for networking and communicating."

Quidsi figures social commerce is a way to potentially turn twice-monthly purchases into more daily and weekly purchases. "We see some customers on our e-commerce sites every 46 days and daily or weekly on Facebook," says Himwich. "We see doing a replenishment transaction on Facebook as a two-minute micro-task that frees up customers for more important matters."

mark@verticalwebmedia.com

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