April 13, 2011, 4:27 PM

VogueWigs.com integrates Likes, YouTube and Twitter into search results

The e-retailer incorporates social network data into its site search algorithm.

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VogueWigs.com, an e-retailer of wigs and hair accessories, nine months ago added a Shop Now tab on its Facebook page. The tab doesn’t enable consumers to complete a transaction on Facebook but shoppers can click that they Like any of the retailer’s products. When a consumer clicks the Like button on Facebook that information is shared on the retailer’s web site.

Now VogueWigs.com is importing those Likes, as well as product-relevant YouTube videos and Twitter posts, into search results on VogueWigs.com.

Jason Wang, VogueWigs.com’s president and owner, says he expects that incorporating the social data into site search results will help maximize the value of his social media efforts and give consumers a well-rounded experience with his products, no matter if they view them on his e-commerce site or on Facebook. He added the integration tool that pulls the data from the social networks to VogueWigs.com about two weeks ago. The tool is provided by his site search vendor, Nextopia.

“For our customer base, there are people who use Facebook and those that don’t,” he says. “This brings it all together.”

A keyword search for “hair” at VogueWigs.com, for example, returns more than 1100 results. Results include the number of Likes each product has collected on the e-retail site and on VogueWigs.com’s Facebook page, and consumers can refine their search to show products that feature a YouTube video or a VogueHair-produced Twitter post associated with it.

Wang says it’s too early to say if the social results will have significantly boost the site’s conversion rate, but he’s bullish on the prospects.

“Once Likes reach critical mass, I can see them being just as important as user reviews,” he says.

Wang says he’s considering how to redesign the site to feature these social search elements more prominently.

Nextopia launched the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter modules in January as an add-on to its service that enables e-retailers to feature a searchable product catalog within their Facebook pages. The fee to host site search on a Facebook page starts at $995 per year and Nextopia CEO Sanjay Arora says adding the feeds that draw those Likes back to the e-retail site and incorporate them into Nextopia-hosted search costs an additional 10%-20% and requires a retailer to installan additional application.

Arora can’t say whether Likes, videos or Twitter posts will knock popular search tools like “most popular” or “best-selling” from their perches, but he says Nextopia takesthat social data seriously enough to incorporate it into its keyword search algorithm that determines display order.

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