September 27, 2012, 11:39 AM

A social marketing vendor rolls out a new way to entice holiday shoppers

Want Technologies is using Facebook’s Notifications feature to let consumers know about sales.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Social commerce vendor Want Technologies aims to make it easier for shoppers to learn about retailers’ holiday-centric promotions.

The vendor, which offers technology that enables retailers to add a Want button to their product pages, yesterday launched Notifications a feature that alerts a shopper when an item she Wants goes on sale. That alert appears in Facebook’s Notifications feature, which is designated by a globe icon, at the top of consumers’ Facebook pages, next to the social network’s search box.

Facebook’s Notifications feature typically alerts consumers when they are invited to a new event and when their friends post new pictures. However, vendors like Want, can also opt to share news with consumers via the feature when a shopper granst a Facebook application, such as the Want button, permission to access  his Facebook information. The first time a shopper interacts with a Facebook application, like the Want button, he has to give the application access to his Facebook account.

Retailers can use the tool to encourage shoppers to Want its products by offering discounts when a product reaches a particular threshold, such as 100 Wants. Then the retailer can sends out the discount via Facebook Notifications.

Notifications gives retailers a prominent way to let shoppers know about a sale, says Sam Grossman, director of marketing for Sharper Image. “This is a great opportunity for us,” he says. “With the holidays right around the corner we can now nudge shoppers back to our site to purchase by sending incentives like 10% off or free shipping directly to their Facebook page.”

Consumers have responded to early tests of the Notifications feature. 67% of all Notifications are clicked through to merchants’ product detail pages, says Want. Sharper Image, in particular, has seen a 3.4% conversion rate for those Notifications, nearly double its 1.8% conversion rate for its e-mail retargeting campaigns. 

That’s largely due to shoppers having already expressed interest in the products, says Alex Fenkell, Want’s cofounder. “While we are happy with that number, it really just represents the opportunity that is there for the retailer,” he says. “More engagement with shoppers means higher conversion rates and higher average order value.”

Want Technologies says thousands of retailers have its Want button on their sites, including Sharper Image, Edible Arrangements, No. 97 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and Frederick’s of Hollywood Inc., No. 321.

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