Social Commerce

Screenshots | Amazon Powered by Facebook

So Facebook and Amazon have just reinforced their status as the ‘IT couple’ in social commerce right now.

Hot on the heels of an Amazon powered store on Facebook for consumer goods giant P&G, Amazon is deploying Facebook-powered recommendations on its own site.  There’s also a natty birthday reminder function – with gift recommendations – for your Facebook friends.

Specifically, when you now login to Amazon – you can activate your “Amazon Facebook Page” (in public beta – screenshot below), which is accessible from your Amazon personalized store – and shows:

  • Your Facebook photo and profile (seems trivial but it makes the experience so much more personal)
  • Upcoming Birthday and Gift Suggestions for Your Facebook Friends – from info. scraped from their social graph
  • Amazon Items Popular Among Your Facebook Friends
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Books on Facebook
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Music on Facebook
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Movies on Facebook

All this is entirely optional, and Amazon goes to some length to lay to rest any privacy qualms that tend come with all things Facebook – stating clearly that it will not share account and purchase details with Facebook, nor will it contact Facebook friends.

Social commerce is a two-sided coin – helping people buy where they connect, and connect where they buy – and Amazon looks like it wants its logo printed on both sides of the coin.  By deploying Facebook-powered recommendations on its site, Amazon is making the e-commerce experience more personal and social.

Our initial view is that this greatly improves the Amazon experience.

But the current beta is still a far cry what’s possible, in terms of real-time social shopping, or even simple deploying Facebook social plugins.  Whilst Amazon might have ‘issues’ with outsourcing too much social functionality to the social network – for most brands and retailers it should be a quick, easy and inexpensive win.

And he very fact that Amazon has jumped into bed with Facebook should be pause for thought for all brands and retailers – whilst there can be a number of good reasons not to emulate Amazon, there are also good reasons to do just that – and here, we think, emulating Amazon by deploying Facebook connectivity could be a smart move.

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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