Going Beyond the Inbox with Social Commerce | 8thBridge | Social Commerce Platform

Going Beyond the Inbox with Social Commerce

November 22, 2010 / By Wade Gerten

Last week while Mark Zuckerberg was announcing the launch of Facebook Messages, 8thBridge was helping private sale merchant HauteLook move beyond the inbox.

8thBridge launched a social commerce channel for HauteLook that enables their 3.5 million members and friends to shop daily sale events on their Facebook home page. Members that LIKE HauteLook or the brands on sale at HauteLook can now shop offers that appear in their Facebook news feed.

“One of the key reasons we launched a social commerce channel with 8thBridge was to get out of the inbox,” says HauteLook’s CEO Adam Bernhard. “We also wanted to provide our members with a fun and convenient way to shop within their preferred online experience on Facebook. Not only will members love shopping and sharing with their friends, but our partner brands also benefit from offering a new, engaging experience for their fans. It’s a win-win-win.”

HauteLook’s social commerce channel launch was timely. Like many online merchants, HauteLook very effectively leverages email marketing to drive traffic to their site. Each day, they send millions of email invitations to members to shop the day’s sale event.


The Future of Email Marketing is Unclear

Facebook’s announcement last week drew concerned attention within the email marketing industry. The good news is that the millions of us that make the shift from email to
Facebook Messages will have much more control over our inboxes.
Time on Facebook By default, messages from non-Facebook friends will go into the “Other folder” and spam is hidden from view automatically. The bad news: email marketers will need a plan B.

The writing has been on the wall for a while. Click rates of email marketing have declined year after year as many have replaced email with Facebook as their preferred way to connect online. Use of email declined by an astounding 28% last year while social media use grew by 43%.

The future looks grim for email (as we know it today) with 1 in 4 teenagers reporting they don’t use email at all.

Time Spent Online

HauteLook and many of 8thBridge’s other customers are launching social commerce channels to leverage new reality:

  1. People are spending more time on Facebook at the expense of other sites, email, and instant messaging. In fact, in the U.S. Facebook users now spend 1/3 of their online time on Facebook.
  2. Most of those customers that have moved to Facebook will now be even harder to reach as the use of email sharply declines and Facebook Messages adoption explodes.


Sales Events on Facebook

The sale events HauteLook runs on Facebook are not only being shared with HauteLook’s current member base. They are also being shared on the Facebook home page of people that LIKE the participating brand (ex. 570,000 people that LIKE Carol’s Daughter).

HauteLook is able to distribute relevant shopping experiences to different segments of LIKES and Facebook Pages by leveraging 8thBridge’s platform.

LIKES will power personalization If I had connected to Carol’s Daughter on Facebook, you can be sure I’d love to be able to shop with them on Facebook at dramatically discounted prices. It’s relevant, valuable, and it’s one of the top reasons I connected to the brand in the first place.

Offers shared with Facebook LIKES will become more personalized and relevant as merchants leverage the 8thBridge platform to tailor messages. HauteLook’s implementation is a great example of segmenting by brand.

We’ll soon see even more relevant experiences to the point where offers arrive in your news feed tailored just to merchandise in your size or style preferences.

8thBridge also makes it possible for people to shop on multiple brand Facebook Pages. For example, you can shop Tuesday’s sale event on Carol’s Daughter Facebook Page or HauteLook’s page.

The future of email marketing will certainly be debated over the coming months. In the mean time, be sure to LIKE HauteLook this week and experience the latest in social commerce innovation for yourself.

Carol's Daughter on Facebook

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