Ecommerce sites should consider how they can personalize their sites using Facebook data, as a new study shows 50% of visitors to ecommerce sites are currently logged in to Facebook. Using Facebook social plugins and Connect integrations, sites can leverage Facebook data to show visitors what friends bought or shared, what products relate to their Likes, and which friends they might want to invite. The study was conducted by Sociable Labs, which helps websites implement social functionality, and looked at 456 million visits to over a dozen ecommerce sites catering to different demographics.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that ecommerce sites are increasingly adding social features. She shared with us a new statistic: 88% of Internet Retailer Top 200 retail sites are integrated with Facebook.
Sociable Labs’ founder and CEO Nisan Gabbay explained that the target age market for an ecommerce site has surprisingly little influence on the percentage of visitors that were logged in to Facebook. Those aimed at college students were closer to 60%, but even those with middle aged saw at least 40% of visitors logged in.
The data was collected using the FB.getLoginStatus() API call from sites of Sociable Labs’ analytics and ecommerce integration customers. Gabbay tells me that while some of the studied sites attract early adopters, he has discussed the data with Facebook and the company validated it. Also, despite the fact that his company could benefit from more sites adopting social, the sample size is large enough to decrease the likelihood of bias.
“People look at Facebook’s active user count but don’t quite get how pervasive the service is in people’s lives. It’s there all the time in any activity they do online”, Gabbay says. The stats indicate that there may be less risk of sites offending non-Facebook users by adding social functionality than one might expect, because there just aren’t that many hold-outs any more. There’s also technical ways to detect if a user is logged in, and hide those big blue social plugins if they’re not.
As we enter the holiday season, there will be a critical mass of shoppers taking actions on ecommerce sites. Those willing to develop or license Facebook integrations can use social data to point visitors to the products most relevant to them. This can produce a lot more sales than leaving visitors them to browse aimlessly.