In 2010 Cyber Monday set a record as consumer spending online surpassed $1 Billion for the first time and total e-commerce spending for November and December reached $32.6 Billion. With all the excitement and demand for social commerce, the 2011 holiday season appears to be the ideal time for brands to make a splash in Facebook Commerce (F-Commerce). Below are 5 F-Commerce trends for the 2011 holiday season that brands can leverage to increase fan engagement (not in any particular order).
1) Group Gifting
Give fans the ability to buy a gift together. Quite often a group of friends want to ‘go-in’ on a larger gift for one of their friends. The natural place for this to take place online is Facebook. One fan page that has already offered this feature is eBay. The company launched Group Gifts on their Facebook page last November, which allows Facebook users to choose a gift for one of their friends and invite other friends to chip in. The invited friends are able to chip in any amount. Once the gift is fully funded, it is purchased and each friend is charged the amount they entered. See eBay screenshots below.
2) Wish Lists
Wish lists are great to have during the holiday season because they take the guesswork out of buying the perfect gift for someone on your list. Give fans the ability to create a wish list of their favorite items. In addition to simply creating the list, brands should incentivize their fans to share the wish lists with friends (ex. one person wins the items on their wish list each week). The example below shows how a fan of Lands’ End would add items to her wish list and then share her wish list with friends in the news feed.
3) Social Good Campaign
The holiday season is a time for giving. Brands can help those in need and increase sales by launching a social good campaign directly on Facebook. Examples of this include buy-one give one (a la Tom’s Shoes), percentage giving (spend $50 and 10% goes to the charity of your choice), and time-sensitive campaigns (E.G. Sevenly). Creating a social good campaign on your Facebook page will increase fan engagement and likeability of your brand. Last year, Kohl’s launched a social good campaign on Facebook where the 20 schools with the most votes would receive a total of $10 Million.
Comment ads are Sponsored Story ad units that use questions from your Facebook Page’s posts. There is a low barrier to participation because users can leave a comment on the ad without going to your page. Once a user leaves a comment, your brand gains free exposure in the news feed of the Facebook user who left a comment and your ad can be visible to the friends of the user who commented as a Sponsored Story. You do need a premium advertising account in order to use this type of ad. These ads could have a variety of uses such as to gain insight into what people want to see you offer this holiday season. Example below.
Ask your fans to vote on a product they would like you to give a discount on. After fans vote, you will gain exposure on their walls and in the news feed for their friends to participate.
Ask your fans to give feedback on products you are offering or what they would like to see you offer this holiday season.
5) Facebook Friday
First comes Black Friday, and then comes Cyber Monday. Why not a Facebook Friday after Cyber Monday?! Posts on Friday have an 18% higher engagement rate than other days of the week (according to a recent report by Buddy Media). You could reward your fans with an exclusive offer for the holiday season as your “gift” to them. Last year, Disney Cruise Line offered its fans a $100 onboard credit if they booked an 11-Night Southern Caribbean Holiday Cruise.