Social Retail Milestone

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Social Retail Milestone

Comparison-shopping engine built its 1,000th virtual retail store on the Facebook platform through the Merchant Store application it introduced just over a year ago.

Available as a free add-on to enhanced merchants, the application lets retailers display product listings on their Facebook pages for shoppers to browse and share, complete with photos, descriptions and direct links to their own Web sites.

“We’ve heard repeatedly from our merchants how valuable a resource this application is in expanding their reach to Facebook’s huge audience,” said Doron Simovitch, co-founder and CEO. “The 1,000-store milestone indicates just how serious retailers are about expanding their e-commerce efforts to the world of social media.”

While the 1,000-plus retailers encompasses merchants of every size and scope, the application is proving to be especially helpful to many smaller and mid-sized e-commerce outlets that are using it to integrate their Facebook fan pages with their online stores to raise brand awareness and drive overall traffic, according to SortPrice. Simovitch noted that nearly one out of every four retailers using the Merchant Store application has a “Find us on Facebook” badge or similar notification on their own Web site, indicating that more and more e-commerce entities are branching out into social networking.

One such merchant having great success is Equestrian Collections, which incorporated the application on its Facebook fan page prior to the holiday shopping season by first using it to run a Wishlist contest for its followers.

“The ability to market the application both as our Facebook store and also as a Wishlist, by simply changing the tab, gave us great flexibility,” said Chris Duggan, the company’s president. “Having our SortPrice Facebook Store brought Equestrian Collections closer to our fans and helped make our fourth quarter a banner one.”

Nebraska-based apparel retailer is using the Merchant Store application as a key component of the company’s strategy to reach more potential customers through social media avenues.

“Our focus has always been on creating the most enjoyable shopping experience possible for our users,” said Shannon Whisler, Buckle’s social media and online marketing specialist. “By offering exciting new interaction areas like the online store and Wishlist application on our Facebook page, we believe that a level of convenience and flexibility has been created that enhances that experience for our users on Facebook.”

Retailers can control the look and feel of their stores, and visitors can comment on other users’ wish lists, indicate particular items that they “like,” and invite friends and family to view their wish lists or favorite products. To learn more about the Facebook Merchant Store application, visit