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Just about every online retailer out there is looking for ways to utilize Facebook as a channel to enhance their online shopping experience and acquire more customers. Below are 5 useful tools that help retailers do that:
Addoway: An online marketplace for fashion, collectibles and more that integrates with Facebook’s social graph to recommend merchants your friends have bought from, know personally or have identified as having great deals they want to share with their friends. Addoway rewards shoppers for sharing deals they like on social networks with a virtual currency called “Addo Bucks” that shoppers can cash in for discounts on Addoway purchases, free gift cards from popular retailers like Starbucks and Best Buy or access to limited-entry giveaways of popular products like an Apple iPad or Nintendo Wii. Addoway offers a free online storefront for merchants with easy importing and inventory management that syncs with eBay and its recommendation engine and social sharing platform provides merchants with an easy way to spread their products virally.
BigCommerce: Robust online selling solution that provides merchants with a handful of tools, including drag and drop design, simple distribution to eBay and shopping comparison sites, automated email marketing and mobile commerce features. On the social side, BigCommerce provides subscribers with a way to distribute their inventory into a shop on their Facebook fan page. When shoppers visit the fan page and click an item they like, they are redirected to the merchant’s BigCommerce store off Facebook to complete the purchase.
Payvment: Shopping cart solution tailored to selling on Facebook. Payvment’s system allows merchants to set up a free online shop on Facebook. Payvment’s Facebook stores are searchable, allowing shoppers to search all Payvment stores from within one seller’s fan page at once. Unlike a lot of other Facebook store applications, Payvment allows shoppers to purchase right on Facebook without having to redirect to a third-party website to checkout. Payvment uses PayPal to process payments.
Sellit: An embeddable “mini-shop” that can be distributed across the web and on social networks. Sellit’s social turns stores from online marketplaces into a pretty cool flash mini-shop with a sample of that store’s best products. The mini-shop can be displayed directly on blogs, social networks and more. Sellit offers “Ad Paks” that enable merchants to have their mini-shop distributed to thousands of locations on the web as an advertisement for the store. Sellit has established partnerships with some of the most popular online marketplaces like Etsy and Cafepress.
Wildfire: Promotion builder for social networks. For quite a while Wildfire has been providing small and large businesses with promotional tools for social networks, and recently launched a self-service platform to enable merchants to run their own “Group Buying” promotions from within their Facebook pages. The deals work similar to Groupon. Merchants can set up a special promotion (i.e. $20 for $40 worth of merchandise from their store) and then require that a certain number of people buy the deal in order for everyone to get it (which encourages buyers to share the deal with their friends). Wildfire charges a fee per campaign and per day that it is run.
Have comments on one of these tools or any others? Tell us in the comments below.
(Disclosure: I am a partner and advisor to Addoway)
About the Author: Corey Kossack is a Managing Partner at Game Change Ventures, focusing on partnering and consulting with startups in the areas of social media, consumer Internet and e-commerce. Corey is also an Operating Partner at Game Change Ventures’ first Internet startup, Addoway, a social marketplace that helps you buy and sell with your friends and the people they know. Formerly Corey was one of the world’s largest retailers on eBay, built a $1M company from scratch at age 23, has led multiple startups and received numerous awards for his entrepreneurial achievements.