12/04/12

CafePress uses Facebook to offer better gifts

The customized products e-retailer offers a Likeable Gifts feature.

Zak Stambor , Managing Editor

CafePress is leveraging Facebook to give shoppers personalized gift recommendations for their friends and family.

The customized products e-retailer has launched Likeable Gifts, a Facebook application that, with the permission of a Facebook user, sifts through the posts and Likes of a consumer’s friends on the social network to suggest CafePress T-shirts, home products, accessories and gear that might appeal to friends. The tool is similar to Shopycat, a Facebook application launched by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s research lab @WalMartLabs last holiday season.

After a consumer grants CafePress permission to access her Facebook information, the application shows her suggestions for products she might be interested in, based on her interests, as well as gift ideas for her family and friends. The tool notes the keywords, pulled from her and her friends’ Facebook activity, that guided the suggestions.

For instance, it might note that “John Smith likes boating, partying and traveling.” It then would suggest items in line with those interests, which, for John might be a tote bag that can be customized with his boat’s name, a button featuring an image of a gin and tonic and a wall calendar featuring images of China, where John recently visited.

Social media gives CafePress a new set of tools that produce a better overall customer experience, says Bob Marino, the retailer’s CEO. “There’s no other way we could do this other than with social media,” he says. “Social unlocks the key to valuable data that speaks to the heart of the consumer,” he says.

The retailer also plans to leverage consumers’ social media activity, even if they don’t opt to use Likeable Gifts but sign in to the site using their Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest log-ins. In the next few weeks CafePress plans to offer shoppers the option of signing into its site via social media account information. When a consumer logs in, the retailer will adapt its search results based on the consumer’s specific interests.  

CafePress is No. 112 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

In related news. CafePress yesterday announced it hired Jason Falls as its vice president of digital strategy. Falls previously worked at digital marketing agency Social Media Explorer.

Falls is tasked with tying together the retailer’s social media, mobile and other digital marketing efforts to drive both traffic and revenue for the brand.

“[I’m] looking forward to tackling the challenge of helping one of the top 100 online retailers marry the worlds of e-commerce and social marketing to become an even greater conversion point for people with passions—which they can turn into custom apparel, accessories and other products,” he wrote in a blog post on SocialMediaExplorer.com.

Falls had also served as Social Media Explorer’s CEO since 2009. Prior to that, he held various roles at advertising and public relations firm Doe-Anderson, including vice president, director of interactive and online communications and director, social media.

Topics:

Bob Marino, CafePress, e-commerce, Facebook, Jason Falls, Likeable Gifts, NewsMakers, online gifts, personalization, Pinterest, product recommendations, Shopycat, social media, Social Media Explorer, Top 500, Twitter

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