Facebook Offers Fan Box Widgets, Live Fan Page Streaming for Your Site

July 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Social Media

Facebook, like its cousin Twitter, has become a hip place for “locals” to congregate to talk about everything from recent purchases, likes/dislikes to their most recent run-in with a customer service representative.

If you’ve started using Facebook to promote your brand, consider the following two tools Facebook’s developers have been working on for its Fan Page users:

Turning Your E-Commerce Site Visitors into Fans with the Fan Box

Facebook developers recently launched Fan Box, a “Facebook Connect-enabled social widget” that Fan Page owners can add to their e-commerce sites to allow users view the accompanying Facebook Page stream.

Using the the Fan Box, sites can bring content from their Facebook Page into their website and help convert website visitors into Facebook fans. Visitors see the most recent posts from the Fan Page, see a list of other fans (including their friends), and become a fan without leaving your site.

Using only four lines of JavaScript, the Fan Box can be set up and integrated into your site in a few minutes. The code is available from your Page (click Add Fan Box to your site underneath your Page’s profile picture.) Each Fan Box includes the Become a Fan button. Your Fan Box is customizable and can be integrated with your site’s design. The box takes a minimum of 200px width and 64px height for the button, and 554px height with all features included.

Facebook Fan Page users can now you can turn Fan Pages into a live-feed widget to add to your site

According to Facebook Developers, the Facebook Live Stream Box is a feature that “any website owner or developer can use to enable Facebook users to connect, share, and post updates in real-time as they witness an event online.”

Facebook adds, “You can run the Live Stream Box next to…any other experience where many people are visiting a website at the same time.”

What does this mean for E-Commerce Retailers?

  • Consider using it to announce, advertise and countdown a blow out sale on your site
  • Encourage fans to post testimonials about your products or services
  • Use a stream as a live customer service portal

To read about the Live Stream Box, visit Facebook’s Developers Live Stream page

To find out more about the fan box give this link a try:

Should you create a Facebook Group or Fan Page for your E-commerce Site?

July 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Social Media

A huge question I often hear when it comes to Facebook and brands is should you build a Facebook Group Page or a Fan Page?

It is a good question and the answer depends mostly on what your plans are for your site. I’ve broken down the pros and cons of both a fan page versus a group page below.

Facebook Fan Page
Facebook Fan Pages are a great option for brands – including e-commerce sites – that plan on posting information at least once a week.

Facebook Fan Page Pro’s:

  • Looks polished; closely resembles an individual profile page
  • Can include videos, photos, links, events, etc.
  • Can be fed into “fans’” update stream similar to an individual profile update
  • Can be given a customized url similar to an individual profile
  • Hides the name and address of the page creator
  • Offers options to add applications such as a Twitter feed
  • Includes a “wall” similar to individual profiles that people can post comments on
  • Can be paired with a Facebook Fan Page Widget on your site

Facebook Fan Page Con’s:

  • More difficult to manage conversations between fans
  • Conversations are on display for the public to see
  • Unable to convert Facebook Groups to Fan Pages if you’ve already got a Group page set up
  • Until you have an adequate number of fans, you’ll be posting a lot
  • A dismal Fan Page linked to your site can hurt your inbound links in SEO

Facebook Group Page
Facebook Group pages are easy to create and slightly more personal than a Fan Page. Because it is not a constantly fed profile-like page, posts do not need to be as often.

Facebook Group Pro’s

  • Can be more intimate; people see who created the group
  • Still allows for pictures, photos, videos, events, etc. to be posted
  • Allows for emails to be sent to all group members
  • Pre-dates Fan Pages; more familiarity among early adopters of Facebook

Facebook Group Con’s

  • Visitors must visit your group page for updates
  • Does not allow applications to be added to the group page
  • Offers visibility
  • Will automatically post related groups to your group page whether you want them or not
  • Cannot be linked to your site via widget(s)

The Verdict? Consider a Facebook Fan Page if you want to keep your “fans” up to date on the goings on of your site. Consider a Group if you have a niche within your site that people might want to create conversations about.

New PayPal Tools Help Reduce Abadoned Carts

July 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Shopping Cart Abandonment

In a recent article I wrote titled 10 Proven Methods to Decrease Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate I detailed a number of strategies you could use to reduce your cart abandon rates.

If you use PayPal as a payment method, and depending on the technical ability of your cart, you might have had trouble with abandon carts in the past. However a recent survey conducted by comscore on behalf of PayPal aimed to answer the question why shoppers abandon their carts.

The survey revealed that largest single reason online shoppers abandoned their carts was due to high shipping costs. Additional factors were security concerns and check-out processes that lacked convenience.

The survey also found that if merchants had provided shipping costs upfront, this might have persuaded 40 percent of participants to complete the purchase.

As a result of the survey findings, PayPal recently released the PayPal Instant Update API — a new Express Checkout feature.

The Instant Update API enables merchants to provide customers with the critical information they need — when they need it — in order to make the purchase.

Merchants who integrate the new API, can now show order details which include shipping options, insurance choices and tax totals, earlier in the check-out process.

Customers will still pay on your site when using Express Checkout; however, with the new tools they do not need to reenter shipping, billing, or payment information because the information is already available from PayPal. This helps merchants offer a more simplified checkout process while providing customers with what they are looking for.

Additional Reasons Shoppers Abandoned Carts

A comprehensive list of the most frequent reasons why shoppers abandoned their carts is below.

  • High shipping charges: 46 percent
  • Wanted to comparison shop: 37 percent
  • Lack of money: 36 percent
  • Wanted to look for a coupon: 27 percent
  • Wanted to shop offline: 26 percent
  • Couldn’t find preferred pay option: 24 percent
  • Item was unavailable at checkout: 23 percent
  • Couldn’t find customer support: 22 percent
  • Concerned about security of credit card data: 21 percent

If you are looking for more information on the PayPal Instant Update API you can read about implementing it using any of these links:

Implementing the Instant Update API

The PayPal Blog

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