• Share on Google+

Here’s a smart f-commerce gem from JWT‘s XM-Asia in Singapore.  Instead of using Facebook simply to sell fan-first/fan-only exclusives, vendors can also use Facebook to do demand-driven inventory management by posting ‘product preview galleries’ that allow fans to ‘Like’ potential new stock items – vendors stock the most liked products.

Not only is this a smart way to de-risk new inventory, it also adds ‘involvement’ into the f-commerce mix, a known driver of customer loyalty and advocacy.  By giving customers a say in what you sell, you turn customers into loyal stakeholders.  Local retailer ‘Zha Huo Dian‘ is trialling the JWT solution on Facebook, which includes a mobile app for retailers to take photos of potential stock items and post them to the Facebook preview gallery (see video).  If JWT is smart – they’ll use their Singapore smarts and wrap this up into a turnkey f-commerce solution around the globe.

Of course there are precedents for using Facebook as a platform for this kind of customer involvement. The most well-known is online t-shirt retailer – Threadless. As a fashion brand operating in the highly competitive and largely commoditized t-shirt market Threadless has an enviable reputation; it sells out of every line it produces – generating $17m+ in annual sales with a healthy 35% profit margin. Threadless’ secret is to use customer involvement to build customer loyalty (propensity to purchase and re-purchase) through Idol-style talent contests where t-shirt designers compete for customer likes.  Only the most popular designs go into production and on sale; and when they do, they always sell out.  Modcloth has a similar customer “Be the Buyer” program, as does Walmart – asking customers to vote with Likes on which promotions to run through their CrowdSaver program. Israeli fashion brand Kisim has gone one step further, inviting Facebook fans to co-create (design and name) a new line item – a leather bag – using its Facebook page as an open brainstorming/co-creation platform.

 

We think customer involvement on Facebook, integrating the voice of the customer into the brand and the business, is a key component of successful f-commerce. As we argue in our latest social commerce report on f-commerce, involvement is a key component of the Facebook f-commerce success formula.

  • Exclusives (offer fan-first/fan-only exclusives)
  • Involvement (give your fans and followers a say in what you sell and how you sell it)
  • Incentives (offer fans incentives for spreading the word)

 

  • Reply
    Author
    Jeff Sable

    “Not only is this a smart way to de-risk new inventory, it also adds ‘involvement’ into the f-commerce mix, a known driver of customer loyalty and advocacy. ”

    Paul, the JWT approach is definitely interesting. At Moontoast we’ve also allowed our clients to ‘de-risk’ inventory via group buying functionality. While it is a different approach than the JWT solution described above, our group buy functionality has already saved one of our clients tens of thousands of dollars because they didn’t produce a product that wasn’t going to sell. Also, our group buy solution can be deployed in Facebook – within the newsfeed and as a persistent Tab store, and it can also be deployed on any web site(s) that our clients operate, or on affiliate web sites and their social media pages.

    Also great reminders about exclusives, involvement, and incentives. I reminder all retailers that F-commerce does work, when implemented correctly, and successful promotions do not need to be discounts.

    Thanks again for advocating and writing about best practices.

    jeff