January 27, 2012, 10:30 AM

Like this? How Facebook integration adds oomph to online retail marketing

A Facebook Like campaign nearly doubles sales for one IRCE speaker.

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Marketing and merchandising can claim a big chunk of any online retailer’s budget–but some brands are finding that integrating their site activity with Facebook can squeeze even more out of those efforts without a lot of additional expense.

“Introducing Facebook Likes and Comments has taken our business to a brand new level,” says Leigh Rawdon, CEO of women’s and children's fashion retailer Tea Collection, who will discuss those results in a presentation at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago.

In her session, called “Syncing your web site with Facebook: Should you do it?" Rawdon will share Tea Collection’s experience in using Facebook’s Open Graph API to connect customers’ activities on its web site with those customers’ Facebook pages. When a customer who is signed into her Facebook account interacts with a retail site such as Tea Collection in a defined activity, such as posting a comment on the site or clicking a Like button, the Open Graph API automatically posts that activity to the customer’s Facebook page.

“During the session, I will share what has worked and what hadn’t with Facebook, and our marketing efforts to support the effort,” Rawdon says.  “When we launched our first Like campaign, we broke our previous sales record by nearly two times and the traffic nearly broke our site. Now our customers are using our integration with Facebook to share their love for Tea Collection with their friends.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Rawdon to speak because of her success as a retail entrepreneur. Tea Collection, which she launched with co-founder Emily Meyer in 2002, has been recognized for the last five years in Inc. Magazine's "Inc. 5000" list of America’s fastest- growing private companies. Rawdon has taught entrepreneurship as a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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