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A New Way to Generate Shopper Excitement Online

Online sellers are buzzing about a phenomenon called Facebook Pearl Parties, wondering if they can borrow the concept to market their own products and online stores.

One seller wrote on the Etsy boards, “Recently there has been a ton of these “freshwater oyster pearl” live Facebook party things. I have to say that was a very ingenious marketing idea. People are still coming up with unique ways to market their products! It’s definitely giving me some ideas on how I might be able to market my products differently.”

The seller was referring to a concept similar to Tupperware parties – but instead of the events taking place in the host’s living room, they are held on Facebook using video.

Here’s a description from a company whose independent sales consultants can help hosts throw parties in-person or online: “we bring the oysters to you and your friends. Each one contains a beautiful, genuine Pearl! When your oyster is opened and the Pearl is discovered, excitement sweeps through the Party! Your Pearl can then be mounted into a ring, necklace or any one of our many beautiful jewelry designs!”

A direct-selling consultant posting on Facebook with the name Brenda’s Pearl Parties explained in a Facebook post:

“What is a Facebook live pearl party? It’s so much fun! You can host a pearl party!! Invite your friends and we will go live and open real oysters with a real pearl inside! Your friends and family can pick a setting from the catalog message me to pay and choose an oyster! What color will you reveal?? Classic white, gold, pink, silver, lavender, black??? There are so many different colors! Settings must be paid for before oyster can be opened. Hostess earn rewards!! When your party hits 250.00 there is an earned reward, 601 another earned reward and the more your party sells the more jewelry credit you earn! Message me for more details.”

Some sellers were skeptical about the pearl parties, but the original poster said she was interested in the marketing concept – “Using Facebook live to promote more sales and on the spot selling techniques. There are over 5k people watching the live oyster openings. Everyone wants to get in on it. They can’t even open them fast enough.”

The element of chance is clearly a compelling proposition, as demonstrated by the penny auction fad and the daily fantasy sports contest craze.

Is there a way for online sellers to use Facebook video events to generate sales? Like many of these services, it sounds too good to be true, but one thing’s for sure – if you find a successful formula, it’s sure to be copied.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.