Social marketing, brand building and e-commerce are no longer separate activities. Integrating each of these into a seamless experience within a customer's preferred environment is the apex of social commerce. Done correctly, each transaction can become a powerful brand endorsement and influences a wider audience via word-of-mouth.
A new Facebook app, BuddyBid, enables retailers to host highly-targeted auctions direct on Facebook to better engage customers, increase sales and lower customer acquisition costs. The app gauges and surfaces demand from potential customers, providing marketing teams with actionable leads.
Why divert consumers to a new or third-party e-commerce site, a common practice for most online coupons/offers, when you can engage, capture, and opt in fans right inside the comfort of Facebook? According to , BuddyBid uses price discovery and advanced customer profiling to identify leads and revive dormant customers.
So for what kind of products is this social auction effective? Gray's Online, one of Australia's largest online retail and auction companies uses BuddyBid to sell a wide range of wine products. Through BuddyBid, Gray's Facebook auctions sold 70,000 cases of wine last year, while lowering costs by 70 percent per consumer, because social media is free.
This type of social auction taps into a new and different audience, as well. Gray's found 92 percent of bidders were completely new customers. And they're experiencing a completely branded experience, too. As they engage and transact on the wine brand's Facebook page, they are doing so with the brand right in front of them -- not the brand of a third party portal.
And it works for chickens, too. No, really.
Based in Spanaway, Washington, Smith Wonderful Poultry raises and sells coveted "show" chickens. The company has just begun using BuddyBid for its auctions, and breaking records doing it. "I sold a pair of birds for $1,500 at auction. I'm pretty sure that's a record price nationwide," said owner Cynthia Smith. "BuddyBid helped me get my product in front of the most desirable audience on a platform they prefer."
But Facebook auctions aren't just limited to cherished poultry and wine. BuddyBid has found these types of auctions lend themselves particularly well to luxury/high-end niche products. NYC-based fancy jewelry dealer Leibish & Co. uses BuddyBid to auction off fancy jewelry (including a ring starting priced at $1 million), and JewelryPopUpShop.com uses BuddyBid to auction off jewelry and watches.
Here's how it works:
- First off, because it's a Facebook app, no new user accounts or password logins are needed, and friction to the product is reduced.
- Every time someone places a bid, that brand is introduced to friends, by trusted friends, via the Facebook Newsfeed
- Brand managers can drop Google Remarketing cookies to consumers who view the latest offer within Facebook, further extending the offer throughout the Google Display Network
- When an auction closes, marketers can download the fan leads along with critical data including the highest amount they were willing to bid up to, the product, and timeframe of interest.
- BuddyBid algorithms capture metadata of each bidder, which can be used to steer additional, targeted Facebook advertising,
- Reversing the algorithm, marketers can focus advertising on new customer acquisition.