Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Amazon Powered By Facebook

Social Commerce Today reports the following:
Facebook and Amazon have just reinforced their status as the ‘IT couple’ in social commerce right now.

Hot on the heels of an Amazon powered store on Facebook for consumer goods giant P&G, Amazon is deploying Facebook-powered recommendations on its own site.  There’s also a natty birthday reminder function – with gift recommendations – for your Facebook friends.

Specifically, when you now log in to Amazon – you can activate your “Amazon Facebook Page” (in public beta – screenshot below), which is accessible from your Amazon personalized store – and shows:
  • Your Facebook photo and profile (seems trivial but it makes the experience so much more personal)
  • Upcoming Birthday and Gift Suggestions for Your Facebook Friends – from info scraped from their social graph
  • Amazon Items Popular Among Your Facebook Friends
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Books on Facebook
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Music on Facebook
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Movies on Facebook
All this is entirely optional, and Amazon goes to some length to lay to rest any privacy qualms that tend come with all things Facebook - stating clearly that it will not share account and purchase details with Facebook, nor will it contact Facebook friends.

Social commerce is a two-sided coin – helping people buy where they connect, and connect where they buy – and Amazon looks like it wants its logo printed on both sides of the coin.  By deploying Facebook-powered recommendations on its site, Amazon is making the eCommerce experience more personal and social.

Our initial view is that this greatly improves the Amazon experience. But the current beta is still a far cry what’s possible, in terms of real-time social shopping, or even simple deploying Facebook social plugins.

While Amazon might have ‘issues’ with outsourcing too much social functionality to the social network – for most brands and retailers it should be a quick, easy and inexpensive win.

And he very fact that Amazon has jumped into bed with Facebook should be pause for thought for all brands and retailers – whilst there can be a number of good reasons not to emulate Amazon, there are also good reasons to do just that – and here, we think, emulating Amazon by deploying Facebook connectivity could be a smart move.

1 comment:

Patrick Pitman said...

This is a timely and interesting example of what can be done. I'm a Prime member at Amazon and excited at the feature ideas.

But for the "rest of us" selling online, how much can retailers emulate -- absent the massive customer base, product range, and wishlists of Amazon?

For an ecommerce retailer I've worked with that sells 'made in America' adventure luggage, how does this apply? Imagining screenshots of such a facebook integration on their site, it'd look sparse, to the point of being a disconnect.

What's one thing to emulate about this for the niche retailer? Birthday awareness for friends / fans? Feels flat to me.

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