EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2870 - August 15, 2012     1 of 3

Etail Conference Offers Retailers Advice on Facebook Marketing

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Over 1,000 retailers are gathered in Boston this week to attend the Etail East conference. Nicolas Franchet, who recently left eBay to become head of e-Commerce on the Global Vertical Marketing team at Facebook, gave a keynote address on Tuesday morning and took questions from the moderator, Bob Cell of MyBuys, and then from the audience. In the spirit of social networking, we've "retweeted" some attendees' comments from the keynote session.

Cell is the CEO at MyBuys, and in his opening remarks, he spoke about how merchants are marketing to shoppers who come to their sites. First he provided some statistics of typical shopping behavior.

  • Of the visitors to a retail site, 3% will convert, and only 1% will come back and purchase again.

  • Eighty percent of visitors will never return; of the 20% who return, 10% will come back a third time.

Returning visitors "are gold," he said - with each visit back to a retail website, conversion and revenue increase. Cell displayed charts that showed on their 10th return, shoppers show a 15 - 20 percent conversion and a $15 revenue per session versus a $5 revenue for a first-time visit.

Social Commerce @SoComStrategies tweeted, @MyBuys 80% of new site visitors never come back - but those that do make it back are worth gold #etailboston

One challenge is that retail website visitors are anonymous, but, Cell said, "they put their fingerprints all over your site." Cell's company MyBuys offers personalization services to retailers. He said all studies point to customers wanting to be remembered, and they want retailers to communicate with them with relevant messages.

"Consumers expect you to remember them," he said.

Cell introduced Facebook's Nicolas Franchet, whose position is a newly created one. Prior to joining Facebook in April, Franchet worked in eBay Marketplaces, was GM of eBay Motors - Vehicles, and was most recently Senior Director of U.S. Fashion for eBay.

DD Nadeau @wxynot tweeted, "4 dimensions of Social Marketing: Connect, Engage, Influence & Integrate", Nicolas Franchet @Facebook #eTailBoston

Franchet said shopping is fundamentally social. He recommended retailers tap the power of the Facebook newsfeed, where most customers spend their time.

Yesmail Interactive @Yesmail tweeted, "Shopping is fundamentally social." - Nicolas Franchet from @Facebook #eTailBoston.

eskolfield @eskolfield then responded, It CAN be.

There is 10 times greater engagement in Facebook's newsfeed than on anything on the right hand side, Franchet said, and recommended merchants use sponsored stories, and said advertising on Facebook works.

Brandie Feuer @VegasGalB tweeted, Facebook speaker says 10x more engagement in newsfeed vs right hand side. << So many comments to this stat #etail

Fashion merchants are shooting photos for the channel - he said photos for product catalogs are different than photos for Facebook. Interestingly, mobile is more than 50% of Facebook usage around the world and is growing every day.

Dan Marques @dmarques1 tweeted, Fashion ecom retailers starting to shoot product photography specifically for facebook and mobile #etailboston

When asked about "F-commerce," Franchet said it's all "commerce" - merchants have invested millions and millions in having beautiful websites with lots of functionality and have relationships with customers on their sites. They should leverage Facebook to drive traffic to that site, back and forth. Definitely drive traffic from Facebook to your sites directly, but also get customers to publish stories from your site back to Facebook so their friends can also come from Facebook and visit your site.

Franchet believes shopping needs to get more social, but said there is no framework to copy. The site that figures it out is going to have a huge competitive advantage.

"We've figured out price and selection over the past 10 years, now it's time to figure out other components of the shopping experience."

Sarah Christensen @thesassfactory tweeted, Finding your voice, iterating, testing & working in a data-driven mindset=success on Facebook, says Nicolas Franchet #etail #etailboston

Franchet said Facebook is just the platform that provides the tools for merchants to invent social commerce. In terms of whether merchants transact on or off Facebook - he said merchants should do what's right for them.

The Etail East conference continues this week in Boston, some sessions are being broadcast on the Internet, and you can follow the tweeting using the hashtags #etail and #etailboston.

About the author:

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

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