Shopping went social in 2012, with online retailers integrating 'Likes' and 'Pin It' buttons to boost sharing and purchases. In the UK, Christmas 2012 is on track to be another record-breaker for online retail, while in the US, $1.46bn was spent on cyber monday this year alone. As part of a 2012 review, Netimperative looks back at the 10 most popular ecommerce news stories and trends of the year.
Facebook added a 'Want' button, while some brands took to the social network to sell their wares.
Google expanded its sponsored shopping results, and Amazon looked to vanquish ecommerce's 'Achilles heel' by offering same day delivery.
The dark side of customer reviews reared its ugly head, with Gartner claiming that marketers were increasingly paying for positive reviews on sites and app stores.
View our top 10 biggest ecommerce headlines below.
Watch this space for updates on the top 10 advertising, mobile, search, social, ecommerce, multimedia, gaming and regulation news of the year- all coming this week.
Facebook lets brands track sales via ads
Facebook has launched a ‘conversion measurement’ tool, letting firms track purchases made by social networkers who have viewed their ads, as the firm looks to woo advertisers looking for more accountable ways to run social media marketing campaigns. The tool is geared towards measuring direct response marketing (such as travel sites and online retailers) rather than long-term brand building campaigns.
How much is a like worth? Play.com Facebook fans ‘spend 24% more’
Online retailer Play.com has claimed that its Facebook fans are worth 24% more in direct sales than non-fans. The announcement comes amid growing questions from brand managers across the world seeking to quantify the elusive “value of a like” on Facebook. The online retailer, which is owned by Japanese digital firm Rakuten, also claims that it can directly attribute £2m worth of sales to Facebook in 2011. Direct sales through the social network have increased 80% in the past year.
Rise of ‘F-commerce’: Reckitt Benckiser sells new Cillit Bang product solely via Facebook
Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser has embarked on a new Facebook campaign, using the social network as the exclusive platform to sell its latest Cillit Bang cleaning product. The Cillit Bang Facebook page and shop, allows consumers to buy the product direct from the Facebook page, without having to pay for postage and packaging, and is delivered within three days.
Google bringing sponsored shopping results to Europe and beyond
Google is gearing up to extend its paid results on its Google Shopping tool, as the web giant looks to extend its hugely successful AdWords model to the world of ecommerce. Following a launch in the US this year, Google Shopping will add paid services to the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland, starting February 13th 2012.
Facebook tests 'Want' button with retailers
Facebook is testing its long-rumoured 'Want’ button, a retail-friendly accompaniment to the ‘Like’ button that could help the social network boost revenue through sales commissions and ads.Facebook is working with seven retail partners in the beta test; Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria's Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics, and Fab.com. Facebook users in certain territories have been able to click “want” and “collect” buttons upon products from the retailers.
Marketers ‘paying for positive reviews’- Gartner
Paid-for reviews, ‘likes’ and ratings is becoming commonplace on social media and review sites, and will account for 10%-15% of all the reviews by 2014, according to a new report by Gartner. The IT advisory firm predicts that increased media attention on fake social media ratings and reviews will result in at least two Fortune 500 brands facing litigation from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the next two years.
Facebook tracks consumer purchase journey with Datalogix pact
Facebook is working with US data provider Datalogix to measure how many people who view ads on the social networking site then go on to buy that product in a store. Initial testing from the two firms indicates that on average, for every dollar a marketer spent on Facebook it earned an additional $3 in incremental sales. The move comes amid growing shareholder pressure for Facebook to prove the value of its advertising. However, the partnership has raised concerns among privacy advocates over the use of personal information.
Amazon plans same day delivery- a threat to the high street?
Amazon is planning on offering a premium ‘same day delivery’ option for its US customers, in a move that could put further pressures on ecommerce firms and high street retailers alike. The online retail giant is looking to expand its network of US warehouses so it can place its merchandise nearer to big markets and offer same-day delivery to more consumers. The firm currently has 34 in the US.
Amazon launches Groupon rival in Europe
Amazon is launching its Groupon rival, AmazonLocal, across Europe, as the online retail giant looks to cash-in on the growing daily deals market. Launched last summer in the US, AmazonLocal offers users time- and location-sensitive discounts on shopping, restaurants, and special events. Like market leader Groupon, the local deals that offer price breaks on everything from spa treatments to flying lessons are shared via email subscription.
Pinterest social commerce: Amazon and eBay add Pinterest buttons
Amazon and eBay have added a Pinterest button to help shoppers share photos and comments on their favourite product finds via the social network. The move will see both online retail giants add a small red P next to the Facebook, Twitter, and email share buttons. Users can now pin out product images or the whole page, with the emerging main use of the button being to create Amazon and eBay wish lists on Pinterest. Users are also sharing the products they’ve bought and posting products they think friends will like.