The office supplies retailer say it sacrificed some sales to improve online profitability. It also redesigned its business-facing e-commerce site, StaplesAdvantage.com.
The secret to selling on Facebook is discretion, says an IRCE speaker.
Building and maintaining a storefront on Facebook has to be managed as part of a larger social media strategy, says 1-800-Flowers.com search engine optimization and business development consultant Jordan Glogau.
Glogau will speak June 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago at a session titled “Can you generate sales on Facebook?” He says consumers use Facebook primarily to exchange information with family and friends. Rather than have e-commerce and a storefront dominate the page, merchants should make e-commerce a part of the overall dialogue. “Being discreet helps,” Glogau says.
1-800-Flowers has a wide-ranging customer base, including the stay-at-home mom who only sends flowers to friends and relatives to the corporate shopper who sends gift baskets to clients. That means the retailer has to follow a multipronged approach to marketing on Facebook, Glogau says. The flowers and gifts retailer runs both Marketplace and Sponsored Stories campaigns that target different customer niches; Marketplace ads appear on the right side of the Facebook page, while Sponsored Stories lets companies place their logos alongside content from Facebook posts related to the advertiser. The ads aim for consumers based on the information they provide Facebook, such as a consumer listing golf among his interests.
E-commerce on Facebook is particularly suited to matching offers to distinct types of customers. “It’s a great way to target and reward loyalty,” Glogau says.
At his session Glogau will detail how 1-800-Flowers built and now maintains a storefront on Facebook. He will also give advice about increasing traffic and sales via the social network. “Facebook can be a great place for promotions,” Glogau says.
Not all retailing categories might be a good fit for Facebook, he says. “A Facebook storefront might not be right for a business-to-business e-commerce company, but before you build any storefront you need to understand the Facebook ecosystem, which is constantly changing.”
Internet Retailer’s editors asked Glogau to speak because he is an expert on search engine and social media marketing. Glogau has been involved with marketing, sales and technology on the Internet since 1995. He has worked for a number of computer and Internet companies including DEC, Sharp and IDT. He is currently doing search engine and Internet marketing for 1-800-Flowers, operates a consulting practice Haiku Marketing and is a partner in Internet Reputation Management, which specializes in defensive reputation management for the web.