Milyoni (pronounced million-eye) is a leading enterprise commerce application for f-commerce, e-commerce on Facebook. Its platform – referred to as Conversational Commerce – helps entertainment and lifestyle companies convert Facebook fans into customers.
The platform consists of three products:
- Social Cinema – designed for use by entertainment, sports franchises and others that sell digital goods through Facebook. Studios like Warner Brothers, Universal and Lionsgate use the platform to distribute movies via Video on Demand to Facebook followers.
- Social Live – the first f-commerce product to offer live event streams as a service offering. It provides fans with the ability to like, send, share, comment, live chat and invite during a live event.
- Social Shopping – for merchants seeking to sell physical goods through Facebook and is used by brands such as the NBA, French Connection and the Moscow Ballet.
The enterprise f-commerce space inhabited by Milyoni – enabling big brands and retailers to complete transactions on their Facebook page – is becoming all the more crowded (other areas of f-commerce include integrating Facebook into e-commerce sites or retail stores, and linking Facebook to e-commerce sites via product catalogues published on Facebook). Principal competitors include 8thBridge, Usablenet and ShopIgniter, as well as the new enterprise-version of the popular Facebook shopping cart platform Payvment. Newcomers Moontoast and Zibaba, and even traditional ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce and Volusion are also getting in on the act.
Points of Difference
Milyoni offers brands the ability to enable transactions on their Facebook page, either via an e-commerce app embedded in a tab (AKA ‘canvas store’ or ‘tab store’) and/or through a flash video mini-store that appears – and can be shared – in the newsfeed (AKA newsfeed store). What sets Milyoni apart is their support for one-click payment with Facebook Credits in their stores, removing much of the friction from purchase.
Another thing that sets Milyoni apart, apart from its focus on PPV (pay-per-view) streaming, according to the company’s website, is its ability to convert fans into customers by “building a base of fans and deeper loyalty through shared experiences.” Key features include:
- Never leave Facebook to complete a transaction;
- Integration into existing back-end systems;
- Social Features built in throughout the store;
- Hosted application with continuous stream of innovations;
- Optional “Allow” button to capture fan profile upon application entry.
The fan-store features personalization, social interaction and familiar shopping cart functionality. “By leveraging information from the Facebook profile, merchants can create a personal mix of products in the store upon fan entry,” according to the website. Fans are given options throughout to share shopping experiences with friends, family and other fans. Of special interest to larger retailers, the store can scale up to 75,000 items with unlimited number of categories.
Milyoni was founded in 2009 by John Corpus and David Raycroft and is based in California. Corpus serves as CEO and Raycroft as VP of Product Strategy. Since its founding the company has experienced two rounds of funding, the latest of which came in March 2011 to the tune of $3 million dollars.
The company has expanded operations into the UK thanks to a partnership with London-based social media agency Punktilio. Milyoni UK is a division of Punktilio, which sells, services and supports Milyoni products in the UK & Europe.
Brands Served by Milyoni
Milyoni serves a number of large brands. I’ve already mentioned the NBA, but others include sports franchises such as the Miami Heat, as well as major entertainment brands like Universal Studios, Lionsgate and Warner Brothers. In fact, one of the areas where the company is distinguishing itself in the industry is through its Social Cinema application, which allows Facebook users to view movies via streaming video.
From a retail perspective, one of the principal brands using Milyoni for f-commerce is French Connection, a trendy fashion clothing company. Through its fan-store fans can browse, share and purchase merchandise all from within their own accounts. The store enables French Connection to tailor product recommendations to shoppers based on age and gender, making the online shopping experience more personalized.
Client List (selective)
Though costs are not disclosed, use of Milyoni’s platform is minimal – as little as $1,000 per year – according to an article at Practical eCommerce magazine. Major brands can expect to pay much more, of course.