A new Facebook application from e-commerce platform provider ShopVisible is designed to boost sales for e-commerce companies. Online retailer RightSize Health & Nutrition says the feature is helping it gain more Facebook fans—and more funds, too.
Paul Demery , Chief Technology Editor
Measuring the return on investment of Facebook can be a riddle for e-commerce companies. 10,000 fans may sound impressive, but it doesn’t generate a dime of revenue if none of those fans buys anything. A new application from e-commerce platform provider ShopVisible may help solve the Facebook ROI conundrum while boosting sales for e-commerce companies. Online retailer RightSize Health & Nutrition Corp. is using the feature and says it is helping it gain more Facebook fans-and more sales, too.
The application, offered for free to ShopVisible clients, allows companies to add up to 16 products to their Facebook pages and link those items to the corresponding product pages of an e-commerce site where consumers can make a purchase. RightSize says it has experienced a 5% increase in sales since it began using the feature Jan. 19.
The daily average number of Facebook page views for RightSize is also up from about 30 per day before adding this feature to 67, says Jennifer Goodner, corporate support manager for RightSize. And the retailer, which does about $14 million in sales, 25% of which are through its web site, also boosted its Facebook fan base 40% since it launched the application. It now has 386 fans.
“We feel that having the application and offering products directly through our page gives us a sense of legitimacy and builds trust,” Goodner says. “People are able to communicate with us and our web site directly and are better identifying with us and our brand.”
RightSize’s product-meal replacement items designed to reduce caloric intake-attracts many imposters, Goodner adds. Linking directly to products on the RightSize retail site shows Facebook users that they are interacting with a legitimate e-retailer, not a company trying to sign up new members for its pyramid scheme, Goodner says. Before adding the application, RightSize had a fan page, but visitors had to leave Facebook and navigate to the RightSize site on their own to make a purchase. If they weren’t sure if the retailer was legit, they may never visit and buy, Goodner says.
To use the ShopVisible application, a company logs into its online ShopVisible account, accesses a template and populates it with header and footer text, images and links. Goodner says the Facebook application is easy to use and modify. Her team had it up and running in one day, she says.
In addition to linking to product pages, e-commerce companies can add special promotions to the template to entice Facebook users to click through and buy. RightSize recently offered a 10% discount to its Facebook fans who entered a special code at checkout. The promotion generated $520 in online sales over one weekend, Goodner says.
The Facebook feature officially launched in February and about five e-commerce companies are using it, including Scrubs-America and Donell Super-Skin, ShopVisible CEO Sean Cook says.