Social Commerce Emerges
What a year. We spent 2010 in much the same way as 2009: releasing ground-breaking innovations in social, portable storefronts. More on that in a bit.
First, let’s talk trends. In 2010, social commerce emerged as one of the hottest trends in tech. When 8thBridge launched the first storefront in Facebook in 2009, it was uncertain whether retailers would follow. Fast forward 18 months, not only is every retailer strategizing Facebook integrations, but companies in almost every industry are trying to get a head start on what is an inevitable evolution of ecommerce with Facebook seizing the throne of the internet.
For many connected users, Facebook has become the primary tool to access the internet:
Just as offline commerce is, was, and always will be social; we’ve known for some time that e-commerce is destined to be the same. Now that Facebook is socializing the entire internet, social commerce is realizing its destiny. Our deep belief in social commerce has guided us since our company’s inception. Here’s a breakdown of how our conviction guided us to these accomplishments in 2010 .
Facebook News Feed Stores
8thBridge launched the industry’s first News Feed store publisher. The tool enables retailers to post stores on their Facebook Page Walls with custom product assortment, creative, and promotions. Facebook users can even complete their purchases right in the News Feed without leaving Facebook. With it, for the first time ever, 8thBridge clients were able to leverage their entire product catalog and the power of the most valuable real estate on the internet: the Facebook News Feed. And today, nearly a year later, the 8thBridge platform is the only way to curate a storefront on demand — empowering our clients to post a unique storefront and offer to their fans as often as they’d like.
8thBridge launches our new feature which enables clients to transform their entire product catalog into a virtual gifts marketplace. With it, Facebook users could for instance send a virtual bouquet to a friend. The subsequent News Feed story allowed users to upgrade to the real thing by ordering a real gift and having it delivered the same day.
Direct Selling on Facebook
8thBridge took the amazing feedback from the launch of our News Feed store publisher, StoreCast platform and applied it to Facebook users. The mark. brand (an Avon brand) was first to use our StoreCast platform to sell directly to their friends on Facebook — just like they do in real life. All mark. reps can now choose a specific product assortment for a friend, post it on their friend’s wall, and include a personal message (think: “hey, these are the colors we talked about, they’d look great on you!”). The powerful viral nature of this friend-to-friend selling is social commerce at its very core and continues to grow rapidly today.
Booking Travel on Facebook
The world’s first Facebook purchase of an airline ticket was booked on the world’s largest airline: Delta Air Lines. And in another “first,” users could share their ticket purchase with their friends, inviting them to make a purchase on the same flight directly in the Facebook News Feed.
The Delta Ticket Counter app launch earned 8thBridge a spot in AdAge’s Book of Tens: Best Marketer Apps for being among the top 10 marketing apps of 2010.
Further evidence that the Facebook commerce tipping point has arrived, retailers that use 8thBridge reached a daily record of $100,000 in December.
Gift registries are one of the most inherently social aspects of commerce, which is why we launched Wish Lists for Lands’ End in December. Now Facebook users can add items from some of our clients’ storefronts to their Wish Lists, share them in Facebook, and let their friends buy from it without leaving the Facebook News Feed.
We’re very proud of our accomplishments these past 12 months, but even more excited about what 2011 holds for us. Client launches scheduled in the first quarter alone may be our biggest yet. And, this week we’re excited to announce the launch of Social Commerce Plugins, 8thBridge’s suite of plugins for creating social commerce experiences on Facebook and on brand websites.