There has been a lot of buzz about Pinterest lately. Recently, Experian marketing services revealed that Pinterest was now the No. 3 social network only surpassed by Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is a relationship-based social network. Pinterest is an interest-based social network. Clearly, users have enthusiastically adopted the product discovery provided by the Pinterest’s rich interfaces. A recent article showed that Pinterest users spend 70% more on retail sites.
However, Pinterest is a destination site. But retailers like Fab.com have taken Pinterest’s global concept of interest-based social networks and applied it locally to their own website. They have created a private social network centered around their own website.
Fab.com is connecting website visitors in interesting ways enabling them to discover the activity of other visitors, for example, products purchased by others, products liked, products tweeted etc. They have also managed to get users to add Fab.com to their Facebook timeline view.
Fab.com is emphasizing discovery over product searches on the website. Browsing with Fab’s stunning images creates buying interest even before the customer’s know what they want. The live feed is acting as a rich repository of customer testimonials driving up conversion rates.
The live social feed is featured prominently on the website. Fab.com is promoting its social feed heavily.
This strategy has worked remarkably well for Fab.com.
- More than 50% of traffic is coming from social channels
- Membership has increased from 1.8 million to 3.2 million since the launch of the Facebook Timeline integration.
- They are the fastest growing ecommerce site in the world
- Engagement on the website is higher than ever before.
Most retailer websites are very transactional in nature. Visitors come to the website, decide whether or not to buy, and then leave. There is no enouragement to explore and discover. Looking at Fab.com’s success, it is clear that retailers should be looking to create private social networks centered around the activity on their website.
Social discovery will drive up the time visitors spend on the website, improve conversion because of the “social proof” created by the live feed and increase the average order value because the more people discover, the more they buy.
A retailer should embrace both Pinterest and Fab.com’s strategies because they are complementary. Pinterest is a destination site driving new visitors to the retailer site. A private social network like Fab.com makes the most of the visitors when they are already on the website. Pinterest was in the spotlight on Facebook in Feb 2012 and and Fab.com was in the spotlight on Facebook in April 2012.
As a retailer, Fab.com built the private social network themselves and have reaped the benefits. What will other retailers do?