Consumer Psychology for a Digital Age

f-commerce comes of age | P&G opens Facebook store selling 29 top brands [screenshots]

So after dipping its toes in the f-commerce water, consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble has taken the f-commerce plunge, opening up a new Facebook store selling 29 of its top brands, from Always to Zest. In the fast evolving world of social commerce, we think this fully fledged f-commerce store featuring a 47 page catalogue of products from P&G is big news, signaling a new era of Facebook-centric social commerce.

Just two months after trialling a new partnership with Amazon – to whom P&G outsourced all the heavy lifting for an experimental f-commerce store selling their UK cosmetics brand Max Factor, P&G has renewed it’s vows to the e-commerce giant, and is using Amazon WebStore and Amazon logistics to deliver a f-commerce experience; trustworthy brands delivered to you by the most trustworthy e-commerce player in the market.  A smart “standing on the shoulders of giants” move from a company that has limited e-commerce experience.  Other brands take note.

So what’s in it for P&G? Well, the f-commerce store cracks the DTC (direct-to-customer) nut for the brand manufacturer (in an elegant non-threatening way to retailers), it also helps the company learn about brand users and their shopping habits, and critically it helps P&G reward brand followers for their loyalty, and stimulate word of mouth.  Whilst P&G’s store is currently just that, a store, expect to see the company use f-commerce for live shopping, event shopping, and tryvertising initiatives to support new product launches (as it already has done with Pantene).

For other f-commerce solution providers such as AlvendaPayvment and Wildfire, Amazon’s foray into f-commerce with WebStore powered Facebook stores is both an opportunity and threat – an opportunity because it signals a growing market, in which specialized players may out-innovate and outpace the Amazon leviathan that’ll be spinning a lot of plates.  A threat because f-commerce specialists will have to own a cast-iron “reason to choose” over the number one e-commerce solutions provider on the market.

But back to f-commerce HQ at P&G: the consumer goods company is using the Facebook store to generate PR for its Pampers brand, naming (perhaps temporarily) the store the PampersWebStore, in a tilt of the hat to Amazon WebStore, and perhaps the newborn nature of the initiative (Press Release Below). But check out the store – and you’ll find 28 other P&G brands on sale.

  • Always
  • Ausssie
  • Bounce
  • Bounty
  • Camay
  • Charmin
  • Cheer
  • Crest
  • Downy
  • Dreft
  • Era
  • Febreze
  • Fekkai
  • Gain
  • Gillette
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Herbal Essences
  • Ivory
  • Olay
  • Old Spice
  • Oral B
  • Pampers
  • Pantene
  • Puffs
  • Safeguard
  • Scope
  • Secret
  • Tide
  • Zest

Our opinion? The era of f-commerce has just come of age.

Press Release, Retrieved on October 3, 2010 from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pampers-provides-gateway-to-e-commerce-on-its-facebook-page—the-first-procter–gamble-brand-to-offer-facebook-shopping-capabilities-104099848.html

Pampers Provides Gateway to E-Commerce on its Facebook Page – the First Procter & Gamble Brand to Offer Facebook Shopping Capabilities

Pampers Benefits Moms and Dads in One of their Favorite Online Communities – Facebook – by Delivering Instant Facebook Shopping Access

CINCINNATI, Sept. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — There is no doubt that moms and dads spend a great deal of time on Facebook and today, Pampers announces it will make purchasing some of their favorite Pampers and P&G products a little easier by launching access to Facebook shopping capabilities via the Pampers Fan Page.  Starting today, parents can buy Pampers brand diapers and wipes (plus an assortment of other P&G brand products including Tide, Oral B, Olay and Pantene just to name a few) via the Pampers Facebook page, a community of more than 350,000 fans.  The e-commerce capabilities are powered by Amazon.com, which will provide customers with the Amazon.com transaction experience they have come to know and love; free shipping on all orders over $25 and free two-day shipping for all Prime members.

The announcement arrives just a few months after the brand’s success with its Facebook pre-sale of Pampers Cruisers with Dry Max, which sold out its 1000-pack allotment in less than an hour.  The e-commerce capabilities will first be leveraged by Amazon.com.  While Pampers is the first P&G brand to introduce a gateway to e-commerce shopping capabilities via a Facebook “shop now” tab, P&G plans on expanding this offering to other brands’ Facebook pages and retailers in the coming months.

“The launch of the Facebook e-commerce capabilities via the Pampers fan page presents another example of how Pampers strives to be there for parents where they live, work and play – in this case, at one of their favorite online communities,” said Jodi Allen, vice president of North America Baby Care at Procter & Gamble. “We are so thrilled to have such a dynamic, active community on our Facebook page, and want to find ways to provide benefits to our most loyal fans.  Plus, we are also excited to be the first P&G brand to launch these resources and are looking forward to rolling this out to other brand Facebook pages in the future.”

The Pampers Facebook Fan Page offers an active community, contests, promotions, and now e-commerce, and is accessible at www.Facebook.com/Pampers.

Comments (24):

  1. Mark Chaitin

    October 7, 2010 at 13:26

    Checkout popped me out of the FB form factor and onto Amazon’s site. Why wouldn’t I just go to Amazon to shop for the items? The store covers up the left panel so I can’t even see who’s online that I’d want to share to, social hooks are only sparsely present even on product pages. If this is f-com coming of age it looks a whole lot like web1.0. Just opening a storefront isn’t going to take advantage of the channel’s potential. I understand how exciting it is that a storefront of this scope has been opened, but we should really wait for something spectacular to launch that engages the channel as a whole, not flip out about any launch that comes to market quickly.

    Reply
    • Paul Marsden

      October 8, 2010 at 02:29

      Thanks for the smart comment Mark – I completely agree this is f-commerce in an embryonic form – but given P&G’s experiments with Facebook as a channel for live/event shopping and tryvertising – I think these are simply first moves of something much bigger. Time, of course, will tell – but I think it’s significant that world’s #1 advertiser is jumping in with two feet.

      Reply
  2. Arthur Tew

    October 8, 2010 at 13:10

    What makes F-commerce powerful?
    1: The ability to leverage social capital: Fans make purchases, share their purchases, “shares” become qualified recommendations for other friends, original purchaser is rewarded by helping his network make intelligent buying decisions. All this means increased brand exposure and sales for the merchant. This is the most basic example.

    2: The convenience of continuous shopping and check-out procedures: Not part of P&Gs approach, but allowing Facebook users to remain on Facebook while they continue their current activities and conversations, makes shopping easier and reduces the psychological click-off barrier associated with off-site purchase fulfillment. Taking advantage of the impulse.

    3: Measurable return on investment: We know social networks are good for merchants, but when it comes to quantifying the value metrics are abstract.

    It’s my thought that with thousands and thousands of online merchants, there needs to be a simple approach to adopting social commerce. What we’re seeing now are the first rounds of “monster” merchants (early adopters) developing custom solutions and paving a path for the majority. Ultimately, their solutions, aren’t attainable for everyone. The point being, there’s still a lot to be developed, and there’s plenty of room other players in the space.

    Always a pleasure reading your posts Mark. I’d love to chat with you more sometime.

    Reply
    • Arthur Tew

      October 10, 2010 at 11:07

      Correction: Always a pleasure reading your posts *Paul*. I’d love to chat with you more sometime.

      My mistake :)

      Reply
      • Paul Marsden

        October 14, 2010 at 17:09

        Arthur, thanks for the comment – like your 3 point rationale for f-commerce!

        Reply
  3. Ariel Wada

    October 12, 2010 at 16:44

    Thanks for the article, Paul.

    [Disclaimer: I am the CEO and one of the founders of CommerceSocial.com]

    P&G did their initial FB store with a $30K-ish price tag (provided by Alvenda or Resource Interactive, I believe) – I don’t see this as a progressive move.

    I would agree with Mark C.’s comments, nothing here is revolutionary. It’s a nice looking shopping app that:
    a) routes you to an apps page instead of keeping you, the consumer, on the Fan Page
    b) for all purchases you are routed to Amazon.com
    c) for a social network ‘store’, share features are lacking

    Where’s the wow??

    Forgive the pitch but a healthy comparison is needed. Our CommerceSocial suite (commercesocial.com and Facebook.com/CommerceSocial) provides merchants and all sellers, social members included, full-featured stores that reside on any page you want to embed it in (Ning, MySpace, WordPress, Blogspot, etc.), your FB fan Page or FB profile itself and allows a buyer to purchase without having to leave the Page or profile itself (the entire checkout is built into the app to allow same-page or same-Wall checkout). In addition to full stores the product share option provides the same built-in checkout to allow checkout inside a user’s Wall or social page, and each product share window also includes the entire catalog from the merchant store to allow the viewer to browse and buy from that product share mini-store. And then there’s our new interactive ads we launched last month that are now part of the CommerceSocial suite – the ads are commerce enabled to allow viewers to purchase directly from the ad itself. All suite apps are hyper-viral, have built-in checkout, and come with affiliate-like features to help promote propagation.

    All apps can be branded w/ the merchant’s logo and store colors, cost $0 to use and have no start-up costs, and come with an unlimited use/unlimited sites license – the barrier(s) for entry have been removed.

    Thanks again for the article, Paul.

    Ariel Wada
    commercesocial.com

    Reply
  4. Ariel Wada

    October 12, 2010 at 16:49

    – Refer post above –
    Forgot to mention, all apps in the CommerceSocial suite have the same “work everywhere” capabilities – the interactive video ads also work in FB / user Walls; viewing and buying can be done in the Wall or where ever the ad resides at that moment.

    Ariel Wada
    commerceSocial.com

    Reply
    • Paul Marsden

      October 14, 2010 at 16:50

      Hi Ariel, thanks for your comment. I agree with you that P&G’s Facebook store – offers no “wow” factor from a technical or feature perspective, as we say ‘it’s just a store’ and that there are many social commerce software solutions out there that knock the spots off the store.

      But, and it’s a HUGE but, in my opinion – is not what it is, but WHO is behind it that is important. Here you have the leading global consumer manufacturer’s setting up store of Facebook, where P&G go, others will follow – but guess what they, like many brands, P&G have limited e-commerce experience. So what do they do – outsource logistics and e-commerce software to the leading e-commerce firm, Amazon. For me, that’s smart.

      Reply
  5. Sashi Chimala

    October 26, 2010 at 16:16

    I agree Paul.

    It is nice to see PG&E Pampering this budding sector. An endorsement by such a huge company is Always Head & Shoulders above the rest. As long as they can Safeguard from Spam, the Scope is huge and it’s the consumers who will Gain ultimately.

    A small step for PG&E but a giant shopping bag for the consumers :)

    Sashi Chimala
    Twitter: @chimala

    Reply

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