"During a website redesign in early 2011, we were haphazardly slapping social sharing buttons from the various networks on our product pages. It dawned on us that we had no idea how they were performing, and there was no easy way to access our data," says Jon West, cofounder of the online retail company 3tailer. "After looking around at competing retailers, it was obvious that everyone had the same problem as us, whether they realized it or not."
AddShoppers is the silver lining to social media for merchants. "In any business, you need to be able to measure things to manage them, especially in retail," says West, who cofounded the leading social commerce platform for merchants with his 3tailer cofounder Chad Ledford. "We quickly found 100 retailers willing to try out our closed beta, and now the platform is live on more than 10,000 websites, ranging from top 500 Internet retailers to 'mom and pops.'"
- Measure the ROI of social sharing for every network (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, email, and more), and for each product and influencer.
- Reward customers, share more products, and prevent shoppers from deserting the checkout process with social rewards.
- Track sharing activity with social analytics.
"We're able to drive incremental revenue from onsite social with minimal time and cost investments," West says about AddShoppers, which is the first open social sharing service built from the ground up for e-commerce. "Once our platform is installed, it's incredibly easy to see which social networks are driving the most sales across your entire site, or down to a SKU or influencer level."
There couldn't be a better time to try AddShoppers with Black Friday...er...Thursday looming over us. There's no risk to trying its free plan. And according to AddShoppers, on average, social traffic converted 77 percent higher than normal during Black Friday 2012.
This time last year, things were different for the cofounding team who met each other in high school and roomed together at Appalachian State University. "Go Mountaineers! Anyone remember that Michigan game? Anyone? No? OK," West jokes. "We started 3tailer our senior year with a $500 investment each, then bootstrapped it over the next seven years to No. 4 on the Inc. 500 list in retail. We bitter sweetly sold it this past year to focus our energies on AddShoppers."
Since the sale of 3tailer in August, AddShoppers has become a stronger platform in the company of a larger user base with its acquisition of ShareYourCart. "We look forward to helping them sell more, and we're excited to transition their users to our Social Rewards app as well as our full suite of applications, including Social Login, Smart Sharing Buttons, Discovery Wall, and more."
One of the "mores" is Social Retargeting, which allows retailers to reach customers who are more likely to convert because they've been engaged on their site.
"We're becoming the destination for merchants who want to get more out of social," says West. "The goal is to maintain and hopefully accelerate our current growth while offering an increasing level of value to merchants. We're on track to more than triple our install base within the next 12 months. Stay tuned for some exciting product developments as well."
Social Startups is a weekly Social Media Today column written by Shay Moser about the newest and most innovative social companies. Look for the next installment next Wednesday morning. Logos by Jesse Wells.