In this video interview, conversion expert Tim Ash talks about how new capabilities to link to social media can help you personalize your online store and improve your conversion rate.
First, it's human nature to want to be recognized for who we are as unique people -- and to want other people to approve our actions. Connecting with social media can build on these factors.
The "old" Facebook is a "closed garden" model, where content appears on Facebook, rather than outside Facebook.
With the new "Open Social Graph" API introduced at the F8 Developers Conference in 2010, you can ask your customers' permission to use information in their Facebook profile to customize their experience on your site. Many will agree, since it helps them have a better experience.
You'll need a programmer to connect your with with Facebook using their rather straightforward API (Application Programming Interface). You might start simple with just gender and name. Being recognized by name can make people feel more favorable to your site and skyrocket conversions. It's also possible to go beyond your customers' friends to their friends' friends. In addition, collaborative filtering can allow you to infer things about the customer from their friends.
One approach is to show on the cart page the customer's friends who are fans of your company.
So use of a customer's Facebook profile can be used early in the sales process to create momentum, then late in the process to remove doubts and get them to complete the sale.
Tim Ash is CEO of SiteTuners that helps companies large and small improve conversion rates through conversion consulting, including an inexpensive Express Review of landing pages. He is also the founder of Conversion Conference, a worldwide series of conferences about improving conversions -- next in San Francisco, March 14-15, 2011. This interview was recorded at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago, October 2010.