February 14, 2012, 9:59 AM

How AlevaStores.com tracks the impact of social sharing

A new tool enables the health products retailer to see who is sharing its products.

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AlevaStores.com is putting a face and name to its most influential customers, having recently launched a new tool called AddShoppers that allows the retailer to see which site visitors are sharing which of its products and how often those shares are leading to actual sales.

When a shopper on the site clicks to share a product on Facebook or Twitter, she is prompted to sign in to the corresponding social network. AddShoppers then asks the consumer to grant the retailer access to her information on the social network. Shoppers are able to decline that request and share anonymously.

With AddShoppers retailers can add buttons that allow site visitors to share products via e-mail, on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or social shopping sites Kaboodle and StumbleUpon. The content of those shares includes a URL shortener that AddShoppers has branded called Shop.pe. AddShoppers then tracks any clicks on those links and monitors whether or not any clicks lead to a sale.

“It truly is fantastic to finally be able to effectively quantify shares in real dollars,” says Aleva president Derek Gaskins. “It gives you the name and profile picture of the influencers.”

The retailer plans to leverage that information to reward its biggest influencers with freebies or discounts in the near future, he says.

Since implementing the tool on one of its niche health products e-commerce sites about three weeks ago, AlevaStores, No. 601 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide, has tracked 181 shares of its products on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, Gaskins says. Those shares led to 39 clicks and 14 sales from other consumers.

Those numbers surprised Gaskins because the average 74,000 monthly visits on Aleva’s network of e-commerce sites generally come from an older crowd that he wasn’t sure would be active on social networks.  

Retailers are also able to incentivize sharing by offering customers a discount each time they share. This could reduce shopping cart abandonment, says AddsShoppers founder Jon West, as shoppers will be less likely to leave a retailer’s site to look for discounts on coupon compilation sites if they have already been given a coupon code. “Instead of giving customers a coupon for the heck of it and having to pay an affiliate on top of that, you are giving them a reason to share your product and to buy your product.”

AddShoppers is free. West says he has ideas about how to monetize the product in the future but declined to elaborate.

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