Social Commerce Breakdown: How Levi’s and Facebook Prompt Your Friends To Improve Your Buying Experience

In the future, the difference between social networks and corporate websites will be hard to distinguish.


[With social recommendations, consumers can auto-populate a 'shopping cart' to their friends --even before they've logged into the retailer's website]

HP’s social strategist Tony Frosty Welch gestured for me to check out Levi’s recent social moves, his instincts were right, this is unique. Two weeks ago, Facebook announced a crusade in social colonization to spread Facebook across the web, and we’re starting to see Levi’s take advantage of it.  While most brands are only at level 1 of social integration, Levi’s has jumped to level 6 and 7.

Screenshot Breakdown: How Facebook Enables Levi’s Social Shopping


Levis.com homepage spreads awareness
Awareness (Above Screenshot): Levi’s homepage indicates that it now has Facebook integration

Education of Facebook Likes is "More Fun"
Education (Above Screenshot): An intro video indicates how users can gesture they like a product, by “liking” it on the Levi’s site –even if they are not logged into Levis.com, you can watch the video also on YouTube.

Users can "like" products as they browse the site, and see which one of their friends also 'likes' it
Social Gestures (Above Screenshot): On each product page, Levi’s encourages users to “Like” the products, and uses standard social features from Facebook that prompt viewers to be the “First of your friends” to like it.

Social Commerce:  A shopping cart with your friends suggestions is automatically created
Social Commerce (Above Screenshot):  Using the aggregated Facebook data, Levi’s creates a personalized shopping cart based on what your friends have suggested you’ll like, hoping to increase upsell.

Customer Demands Signals From Social Networks An Opportunity for Retailers
Levi’s has launched a promising marketing opportunity at low cost. By simply installing existing social features into their content management systems, they can increase the mouth of the marketing funnel, and benefit from word of mouth marketing.

  • Your friends are shopping with you –even if they aren’t present. This has two major impacts: 1) Consumers real friends are part of the shopping experience –even if they are not physically present. 2) The level of engagement will eventually cascade to mobile devices in store, so eventually as consumers walk into a retailer that has Levi’s they could scan the product and see which one of their friends likes or recommends it.
  • A more engaged user, without forcing them through registration. Registration forms are the bane of marketers: Most consumers disdain them, enter garbage data, and fall off as the forms get longer.  However, As long as users are logged into Facebook they can do this even if they are not logged into Levi’s.com. This means that consumers can ‘like’ a product and engage with the Levi’s product and spread it to their friends on the corporate site and on Facebook. As a result, expect the mouth of the marketing funnel to be wider
  • Consumers take part in marketing and recommendations, increasing upsell opportunity. Levi’s has had social shopping features on their site for some time, you can see the ratings, rankings and comments on each product page, yet in most cases, consumers don’t know who those reviewers are.  Edelman’s Trust research indicates that customers trust each other or ‘people like them’ so this has the opportunity to increase. In theory there could be a great chance of up and cross sell as consumers rely on their actual friends to influence buying decisions. Expect celebrities with large followings to be more influential as what they ‘like’ will cascade over thousands.
  • Social commerce vendors will integrate with Social CRM –yet should be cautious of user privacy. Social vendors like Bazaarvoice, Kickapps*, and Pluck and other customer rating tools that occur post login, need to quickly pay attention to this as it’s both a threat an opportunity. They should develop integration tools and integrate their social data with CRM systems (called Social CRM) to create new and unique forms of data that can anticipate customer needs. Facebook users aren’t fully aware of the long term impacts this has, expect some embarrassing and news worthy stories to appear where a consumer ‘likes’ a product resulting in an unexpected result.

The biggest opportunities are actually unseen. Expect savvy brands to use demand signals from consumers to indicate which products should be ramped up on production, distribution, and marketing, to learn more read my colleague’s blog on Supply Chain Management, by Altimeter’s Lora Cecere.

*An Altimeter client, see disclosure page. We hope you’ll trust our analysis more if we disclose our relationships.

  • Nathan Anibaba

    Jonathan i think the pace of change is so quick, it makes us all feel old. This feild is changing everyday and even new media academics and professionals cannot keep their head above water.

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  • http://www.nickvalente.com Nick Valente

    I was reading your post waiting, waiting… to finally see your caution on privacy. Bravo. For sure privacy is an issue but it is a deeper kind of privacy. Having the public possibly see what I think is one thing. Having everyone see what OTHERS think I would like or I am is totally different. Given human natures love of controversy I suspect that it's not the big stars who will have a problem with this type of notoriety, but the average person who never sees it coming.
    - An important question for marketers is how will consumers react if this happens.

  • http://www.nickvalente.com Nick Valente

    I was reading your post waiting, waiting… to finally see your caution on privacy. Bravo. For sure privacy is an issue but it is a deeper kind of privacy. Having the public possibly see what I think is one thing. Having everyone see what OTHERS think I would like or I am is totally different. Given human natures love of controversy I suspect that it's not the big stars who will have a problem with this type of notoriety, but the average person who never sees it coming.
    - An important question for marketers is how will consumers react if this happens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.malin Paul Malin

    When was the last time anybody went into their profile and updated the music or books or activities they list. With the “like” integration this is about to do a full 180, and I expect my profile to get very noisy. I am looking to see the approach to organization of this content (date posted, whether a like was whimsical or permanent, location, fine tuning meta-data).

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.malin Paul Malin

    When was the last time anybody went into their profile and updated the music or books or activities they list. With the “like” integration this is about to do a full 180, and I expect my profile to get very noisy. I am looking to see the approach to organization of this content (date posted, whether a like was whimsical or permanent, location, fine tuning meta-data).

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    Once big companies like that go social it can become tricky to control their messaging, what levis has done is impressive.

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  • http://arnoldwaldstein.com awaldstein

    My shot at figuring out if and why social commerce will work on the Facebook fan page paradigm…http://arnoldwaldstein

    BTW–really enjoying your posts. Thnx.

  • http://arnoldwaldstein.com awaldstein

    My shot at figuring out if and why social commerce will work on the Facebook fan page paradigm

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  • http://www.searchengineoptimization.co.uk Mike

    This is not question for on FB data, it can be implemented on any business or survey which collect this type of data……Question is how much accurate they can use it………

  • http://www.searchengineoptimization.co.uk Mike

    This is not question for on FB data, it can be implemented on any business or survey which collect this type of data……Question is how much accurate they can use it………

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    I try to look at the trifecta of social strategy: business, community, and technology. Thanks Nick

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    I try to look at the trifecta of social strategy: business, community, and technology. Thanks Nick

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  • http://spotlightportfolios.com/ Allen – Personalbrander

    While social media networks provides huge exposure to brands, the present privacy features enabled on Facebook will make it more viral! I really appreciate Levis strategy of integrating Facebook features!

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  • http://www.seoconsult.co.uk Jack

    I must confess your blog has become somewhat of a bellwether for me to acquire the knowledge required to take some of our clients from the steam age into the 21st century. Many thanks for all the knowledge. I would like Convenience will play a huge role. I also think Facebook's traffic will pay a huge role. Do you see these kinds of features benefiting B2B companies?

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    Many thanks for all the knowledge. I would like Convenience will play a huge role. I also think Facebook's traffic will pay a huge role. Do you see these kinds of features benefiting B2B companies? .While social media networks provides huge exposure to brands, the present privacy features enabled on Facebook will make it more viral! I really appreciate Levis strategy of integrating Facebook features! . Thanks for sharing…

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  • http://www.ceen.hk ceen

    One big issue I see for companies that is yet unclear to me: It seems that website owners are outsourcing all the intelligence they used to collect about the behavior of their users to the Facebook database

  • http://red-brand-media.com/blog RED Brand Media

    Time for consumers to be a bit more picky with the LIKE button.  Just imagine if people didn’t feel like sharing anymore…

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    As the social marketplace becomes more saturated, I think that consumers will be more selective with what information they give away and businesses will have to be more creative in coming up with ways to keep them engaged.

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