F-Commerce, the use of Facebook to assist in the buying and selling of products and services, is new, controversial, and next to group-buy, the hottest thing in digital retail right now.

We’ve been summarising the state of the f-commerce nation in the last few articles, and today we’ve put together a starter list of publicised f-commerce success stories from named companies for you…

Of course, the standout case comes from event ticketing site, Eventbrite, with some useful numbers (every social commerce initiative needs its own Tamara Mendelsohn), but there are others. If you have any examples of named f-commerce success stories – whether on-Facebook or off-Facebook (web-store, in-store), let us know, and we’ll add it the list.

  • Ticketmaster: When a Ticketmaster user posts a specific event they are attending, or may want to attend, to Facebook, it generates $5.30 of direct ticket sales
  • Eventbrite: Every Facebook share generates $2.53 in ticket sales  (DPS – dollars per share (ie RPS (revenue per share)) – or in shares to sale = 24 – i.e. number shares needed to generate a new sale (based on latest av. ticket price ($60))  24 shares generate 1 new purchase (and 11 visits to eventbrite.com)
    • In a recent update to their gold-standard analysis (by marketing director Tamara Mendelsohn), Eventbrite found some interesting twists in the dynamics of social commerce – they installed the Facebook “Like” button (the lowest-friction social sharing tool on the web) on pre-purchase pages, but on order confirmation pages they installed higher-friction but stronger “Publish to Facebook” tool.
      • Eventbrite found that a “Like” generated $1.34 in sales (thus 45 likes generates 1 new sale (av. sale price of $60))
      • Secondly, Eventbrite experienced more sharing post-purchase than pre-purchase (60% vs 40%), indicating that motivation to share is higher post purchase – despite being more onerous (for explanation, see here on loss aversion and the “endowment effect“.  Furthermore, the share rate varies pre- and post- purchase – the ‘Browsing Share Rate’ (pre-purchase) is 1%, whilst post-purchase (transaction share rate) was 10%.  People are 10x more likely to share post-purchase
      • Moreover, a post-purchase share was found to more impact than a pre-purchase one. A post-purchase share on Facebook drives 20% more ticket sales per share than a pre-purchase one.  The relevance of this for brands and retailers is that  post-purchase social commerce may well be more valuable than pre-purchase social commerce. (NB social commerce is defined by Eventbrite as “ the intersection of social media activity and eCommerce”
      • Also of note is that revenue per share varies by product category (not just price) – business events have high share rates but generate few sales, whilst music events have lower share rates but higher DPS ($12 vs average RPS $2.53)

  • Incipio Technologies: Facebook is #2 source of e-commerce traffic, number of shoppers from Facebook adding products to a cart is 3X the average, final conversion rate among shoppers referred by Facebook is 2X the average (ShopVisible).
  • P&G: Sold 1000 diapers in under an hour on its f-store
  • Tesco: Generated £2m+ in-store sales with FB vouchers for fans
  • RachelRoy: Third highest sales the day it ran a temporary ‘pop-up’ Facebook fan store
  • Kembrel: 20% of all black Friday sales transactions were on Facebook with a 7 to 10% larger shopping cart than their dot.com website
  • BabyAndMeGifts: 50% of online sales from Facebook (BigCommerce storefront)
  • LiveScribe: ‘increase in revenue [unspecified] and customer awareness after the small investment of setting up a Facebook storefront (Storefront Social)’ (Marketing Manager Brett Kaufman)
  • Ettitude: Aussie retailer has ‘logged sales‘ coming from Facebook (Managing Director Phoebe Yu)
  • Chompon: Group / Flash Sales platform found RPS on Facebook = $14 of revenue, and RPL (revenue per like $8)
  • Ticketfly: Online ticketing site found that as of Jan 2011, every Facebook share/tweet generated 3.25 tickets sales; Facebook is Ticketfly’s top referrer at roughly 9% of total traffic.
  • Levi’s saw a 40 times increase in referral traffic from Facebook after implementing the Like button in April 2010 and has maintained those levels since. (source SearchEngineLand) Prior to deploying FB social plugins, less than 1% of traffic came from Facebook, now 40% comes from Facebook
  • Outdoor sporting goods retailer Giantnerd.com saw a 100% increase revenue from Facebook within two weeks of adding the Like button.(source NYT)
  • American Eagle added the Like button next to every product on their site and found Facebook referred visitors spent an average of 57% more money than non-Facebook referred visitors (source NYT)
  • Children’s clothing retailer Tea Collection added the Like button to sale merchandise and saw daily revenues increase 10 times. (source SearchEngineLand)
  • ShoeDazzle added the Like button to all of the products on its site and within the first month had thousands of likes for its top products.  ShoeDazzle now has over 1M likes (source SearchEngineLand)
  • ShoeDazzle also lets people login to its site using Facebook, and Facebook-connected users were 50% more likely to make repeat purchases every month than average shoppers.source SearchEngineLand)

Insofar as traffic is a key variable (along with conversion and order value) driving sales, Facebook has released some general stats on the impact of social plugins on traffic generation (via SearchEngineLand)

  • The average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic.
  • People who sign in with Facebook at The Huffington Post view 22% more pages and spend 8 minutes longer than the average reader .
  • Users coming to the NHL.com from Facebook spend 85% more time, read 90% more articles and watch 85% more videos than a non-connected user.
  • ABCNews.com, Washington Post and The Huffington Post are said to have more than doubled their referral traffic from Facebook since adding social plugins.
  • The number of daily likes more than tripled, going from an average of 2,000 likes per day to over 7,000 likes.
  • Daily referral traffic from Facebook to Metacafe doubled, going from about 60,00 to 120,000.
  • Total Facebook actions (likes, shares, comments) rose to 20,000 per day.
  • Video site, Metcafe, following four recommendations for getting a 3-5x boost in use of social pluging (below) saw the number of daily likes more than triple, going from an average of 2,000 likes per day to over 7,000 likes, daily referral traffic from Facebook to Metacafe doubled, going from about 60,00 to 120,000 and total Facebook actions (likes, shares, comments) rose to 20,000 per day.
      1. Versions that show thumbnails of friends are used.
      2. They allow people to add comments.
      3. If they appear at both the top and bottom of articles.
      4. If they appear near visual content like videos or graphics.
    • Recommendation for Social Plugin Optimisation: