Social Commerce

What to Expect from F-Commerce: 1 Sale Per 8 Fans and 700 Sales / Week Say Heinz

4 weeks, 2127 sales – 1 sale per 8 fans – and a 200% (32,810) increase in Facebook ‘Likes’.

That’s what the Heinz temporary popup gift-shop on the brand’s UK Facebook page delivered in October 2011 (covered here, and here, with result reported here), selling personalised cans of “Get Well” Soup for fans to send to friends.

At £1.99 (approximately $3 US) per can, paid directly on Facebook, the popup shop generated just £4323 ($6900) during the 4 week campaign.  Subtract the costs of Facebook ads to advertise the popup shop, the cost of product and the cost of the popup shop app itself, and it looks like f-commerce detractors have a point.

But here’s why we think the detractors are missing the point

  1. The popup shop was designed to build brand loyalty among brand fans (propensity to re-purchase and propensity to recommend – and ultimately lifetime fan value), not to be a revenue generator. The popup shop, selling fan-exclsuives, did this in a way that met fan demands (promotions not marketing content) that didn’t reduce margins of retail sales
  2. The popup shop was also designed to build brand equity (the value of your brand), which Booz & Allen measure in terms of Likes per Million Sales. By this measure, the campaign more than tripled the the brand value of Heinz soup (not entirely credible, but nevertheless impressive)
  3. The popup shop campaign worked as a very cost-effective PR stunt that garnered media buzz in the press and on TV

Of course, to make the business case for popup shop events on Facebook, Heinz and other brands will ultimately have to show the impact of popup retail for fans on fan loyalty in terms of fan lifetime value (the value of sales fans bring in via advocacy and their own purchases).  In other words, they’ll have to understand and report basic fan-economics. Showing an increase in the Net Promoter Score (a good proxy for customer loyalty) would be a good start.

But Kudos to Heinz for being one of the first brands to report f-commerce results.


Results of Heinz Soup UK Get Well campaign


Heinz Soup UK 'Get Well' campaign

Soups offered in the Get Well campaign

Heinz soup gallery

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.

11 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Finally! an f-commerce post that shows how f-commerce should be done!

    My view has always been that f-Commerce can be done successfully if presented in the right manner, I don’t believe that retailers should put their whole product inventory on Facebook, but rather a selection. If the whole inventory is on Facebook why wouldn’t they just shop from the fully functional website.

    Be adventurous in Facebook, offer something within Facebook that your customers won’t get anywhere else. The simplest answer would be a product gift finder, with simple product searches via category drop downs, being able to create and share this list with friends and family. Help it go viral.

    John Lewis were the perfect example of how to do this successfully in the run up to Christmas with their Facebook Gift Finder app.

    The main question is how do you drive traffic to the app page and gain traction….
    Congratulations Heinz, more of the same please!


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