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It’s interesting and mildly ironic that with so many prestige brands jumping on the f-commerce (Facebook e-commerce) train that it is a grocery brand, Heinz ketchup, showing the world (in our opinion) how smart f-commerce is done.

Heinz has opened up a pop-up ‘tryvertising’ f-store on Facebook (tryvertising = advertising by sampling designed to create word of mouth, pop-up = temporary), making an initial 3,000 bottles of its latest tomato ketchup (with Balsamic Vinegar) exclusively available to ketchup fans – before the new product is launched in traditional stores.  The f-store is slick, simple and smart.  Kudos Heinz, for smart social commerce.

For us, tryvertising stores in Facebook make sense.

Rather than simply mirror your traditional web-store with an f-store selling all your wares (à la Asos), instead use Facebook to create word of mouth advocacy for your new product launches by rewarding brand fans with an exclusive trial designed to stimulate word of mouth (a variable known to accelerate product uptake). The combination of exclusivity, scarcity with experience is a proven technique for stimulating word of mouth, combined with the Facebook platform – which is essentially a word of mouth platform – with a differentiated rationale versus web stores.  In other words, use Facebook for retail events. In our book, the future of f-commerce lies in retail events, not stores that simply replicate what is sold elsewhere.

Any doubt that tryvertising f-stores create word of mouth advocacy for your new products can be soundly laid to rest by checking out the positive buzz on Heinz’ wall; remember that each of these positive comments gets syndicated to an average of 130 walls.  And then remind yourself that this is just ketchup!!!

Switch out Heinz’ new ketchup for your upcoming new product launch, and ask yourself how could you make a tryvertising f-store work for you?  Then check out the ketchup f-store – and see how slick it is, compared to other f-commerce solutions.

So how could you improve on Heinz’ tryvertising store?  Not all the comments are positive and you’ll see a number of areas in need of improvement;

  1. Security – f-commerce security needs be as secure and be seen to be as secure as e-commerce. Facebook offers SSL; you need to use it and be seen to be using it
  2. Privacy – like email signup, you’ll need to tell shoppers what you will or will not do with their personal details
  3. Personal Details – keep it to a minimum – do you really need to ask for a phone number?
  4. Localization – if its a deal only available in one local market – let people now upfront – Facebook is a global platform
  5. Browser compatibility – the store should work in all major browsers, even non web standards browsers such as IE – or at the very least show a warning if not compatible

One lovely idea we noted on the Ketchup Wall was a suggestion that Heinz should include a ‘first-buyer certificate‘ with tryvertising store purchases.  Wondrous. Just do it.

  • Reply
    Author
    barb g

    It sounds like an interesting way to advertise. I’m a loyal heinz fan so I’d
    love to try any new flavors they have available and talk about it on my blog.

  • Reply
    Author
    Heinz squeezes the most out of its audience « Leanne Forshaw Jones

    […] Love this latest bit of innovative f-Commerce from Heinz who’ve today rolled out some ‘Tryvertising‘. […]

  • Reply
    Author
    Monade

    Thanks for your findings Paul and also the study, you have attached with this post. It’s pretty usefull!

  • Reply
    Author
    Jon

    Great idea, tryvertising is my favorite 2011 buzzword.

  • Reply
    Author
    F-commerce: Heinz innovates with new 'tryvertising' f-store … | Midia Social

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    2011.10 | f-commerce | Retail Technology Trends

    […]    One interesting trend is the movement of CPGs into Facebook stores – Pampers , Dove, Heinz, and Coca-Cola are good examples.  Another is that airlines are also entering the fray with […]

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    Author
    4 Steps for Tryvertising on Facebook & in the Social Web | Wishpond Official Blog

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    A dispatch from the new e-commerce front: Facebook | SociableNews.com

    […] — with major brands hawking everything from ketchup to skinny jeans via the world’s most popular […]

  • Reply
    Author
    Nathan Williams

    Really enjoyed that article – think you can probably see it as a good PR or product development method – but doubt they will sell much ketchup direct over facebook!

    Also worth checking out is this video which explains fcommerce quite nicely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MlW1djomZQ

    • Reply
      Author
      Paul Marsden

      Thanks Nathan, and thanks for the link – I’ll add it into a post…

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    Author
    5 Great Facebook Campaigns By CPG Brands | 8thBridge | Social Commerce Platform

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    Author
    3 Word of Mouth-tips om 'gewone' consumenten te activeren – Frankwatching

    […] Deze challenge en manier van crowdsourcing maakt van iedereen een chipsexpert. Ook de case van Heinz Balsamic Vinegar toont hoe toegang tot exclusieve content betrokkenheid creëert. Via F-Commerce verkoopt Heinz […]

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    Author
    4 Steps for Tryvertising on Facebook & in the Social Web | Wishpond

    […] Heinz launched a very successful tryvertising (advertising by sampling designed to create word of mouth […]

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    Author
    Varun

    Hi… nice article … vry informative ..had a few questions..

    1. How do tryvertising companies earn revenue frm the brands ?

    2. How to ensure logistics if you are setting up an online website for tryvertising model ?

    Would be glad if these questions get answered

    Regards,
    Varun

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    Author
    Pizza Hut Offers Fragrance to Facebook Fans | Social Commerce Today

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