The search giant today launched an app called Inbox that could force retailers to change their e-mail marketing strategies.
The social network gives retailers more ways to sell via its discount service.
Facebook Inc. says it is testing a revamped version of its Offers discount product with several unnamed “global retailers” that gives consumers two ways to claim a deal. Consumers can either click a Shop Now button and make a purchase right away, or click a Remind Me button to get a reminder before the promotion ends.
When a shopper clicks the Shop Now button after claiming an Offer, he is taken to the retailer’s site to complete his purchase. If he clicks a Remind Me button, Facebook bookmarks the Offer on its site, sends the user an e-mail confirmation and posts a reminder notification on Facebook that appears at an interval chosen by the retailer.
Facebook shares news in users’ news feeds of a consumer claiming an Offer when he clicks the Shop Now or Remind Me buttons and then clicks a Tell Friends button.
The social network launched Offers last year as a way for retailers to present deals to their Facebook fans in their news feeds. That's the section of Facebook that displays updates from a shopper's friends and companies they're fans of, and where Facebook users spend 40% of their time on the social network, according to Facebook. The program’s user interface enabled consumers to claim the deal with the click of a Get Offer button, and then redeem the voucher at a retailer’s site or store.
Since its launch, 42 million unique users have claimed an Offer, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said during a conference call with analysts last month.
She also noted that the Direct Marketing Association has found that Offers’ cost per redemption “compared favorably” to promotions delivered via e-mail, newspaper, paid search, and display media.
In testing a new user interface that gives shoppers two options to claim an Offer, Facebook may be looking to get more shoppers interacting with promotions.
The test is only for consumers accessing Facebook via its desktop or mobile site. Those viewing the social network on one of its mobile apps will see the old user interface.
14.5% of retailers in a recent Internet Retailer survey featured in the Social Media 300 said they have used Facebook Offers. The Social Media 300 is a comprehensive analysis of e-retailers’ social commerce strategies.