We’re big fans of pop-up retail in Facebook, temporary fan stores on Facebook selling Facebook exclusives to Facebook fans. It’s a great way to accelerate launch sales; getting new products into the hands and on the lips of Facebook fans has a synergistic effect with traditional marketing – effectively and measurably boosting advertising effectiveness through fan advocacy. In our view, pop-up Facebook retail is social commerce done smart.
FAN ADVOCACY + BRAND MARKETING = SALES ACCELERATION
Pop-up retail is not new on Facebook, but pop-up retail pioneers Vacant are innovating with a new service – MyPopUpShop – that will allow brands and bands to sell not only from pop-up stores on their Facebook page, but from the Facebook pages of their fans. Fans and influencers will be invited to install a Facebook app (developed by Swedish firm micromarketing) that will create a temporary (30 day) pop-up store on their own Facebook page selling 30-day only Facebook exclusives. Fans will be incentivised to promote their pop-up store and will receive commission from sales – which will be completed within Facebook. Launch is scheduled as imminent.
On paper, MyPopUpShop brilliant concept, and builds on an idea that Domino’s Pizza experimented with last year, and not unlike newsfeed stores used by Warner Bros, 7 For All Mankind, and Moontoast artists that allow brands to sell from within fans’ news feeds. But to be successful, we think MyPopUpShop will need to offer two things – a frictionless experience, and a compelling incentive to buy from a friend’s newsfeed. If brands sell Facebook exclusives on and only on fans’ Facebook pages and the app is slick, then it could work – but if they simply sell what they sell elsewhere, on their own Facebook store or, worse, in-store or on e-commerce sites, then MyPopUpShop will be doomed to failure for want of a raison d’être.
Second, referral marketing 101 teaches us that the incentive offered to buy must be as big or bigger than the incentive to sell. For example, we worked with a large financial services brand that significantly increased the effectiveness of its member-get-member program by simply switching who received the reward – from the existing customer to the new customer. Psychologically, it’s easier to say “hey, if you’re interesting in buying this, give them my name and you’ll get a free case of wine”, than shill to your friends “go on buy this, and I’ll get a case of wine”).
The proof of the pudding will be in fans’ willingness to install pop-up shops on their Facebook pages; we suspect it could be more of a band-play rather than brand-play – but we could see passion brands, particularly in sports and entertainment, profiting from MyPopUpShop too. Question is – would you become an Apple reseller on Facebook selling the new iPhone 5 before it hits the store?