Social Commerce Breakdown: How Levi’s and Facebook Prompt Your Friends To Improve Your Buying Experience

In the future, the difference between social networks and corporate websites will be hard to distinguish.

[With social recommendations, consumers can auto-populate a ‘shopping cart’ to their friends –even before they’ve logged into the retailer’s website]

HP’s social strategist Tony Frosty Welch gestured for me to check out Levi’s recent social moves, his instincts were right, this is unique. Two weeks ago, Facebook announced a crusade in social colonization to spread Facebook across the web, and we’re starting to see Levi’s take advantage of it.  While most brands are only at level 1 of social integration, Levi’s has jumped to level 6 and 7.

Screenshot Breakdown: How Facebook Enables Levi’s Social Shopping


Levis.com homepage spreads awareness
Awareness (Above Screenshot): Levi’s homepage indicates that it now has Facebook integration

Education of Facebook Likes is "More Fun"
Education (Above Screenshot): An intro video indicates how users can gesture they like a product, by “liking” it on the Levi’s site –even if they are not logged into Levis.com, you can watch the video also on YouTube.

Users can "like" products as they browse the site, and see which one of their friends also 'likes' it
Social Gestures (Above Screenshot): On each product page, Levi’s encourages users to “Like” the products, and uses standard social features from Facebook that prompt viewers to be the “First of your friends” to like it.

Social Commerce:  A shopping cart with your friends suggestions is automatically created
Social Commerce (Above Screenshot):  Using the aggregated Facebook data, Levi’s creates a personalized shopping cart based on what your friends have suggested you’ll like, hoping to increase upsell.

Customer Demands Signals From Social Networks An Opportunity for Retailers
Levi’s has launched a promising marketing opportunity at low cost. By simply installing existing social features into their content management systems, they can increase the mouth of the marketing funnel, and benefit from word of mouth marketing.

  • Your friends are shopping with you –even if they aren’t present. This has two major impacts: 1) Consumers real friends are part of the shopping experience –even if they are not physically present. 2) The level of engagement will eventually cascade to mobile devices in store, so eventually as consumers walk into a retailer that has Levi’s they could scan the product and see which one of their friends likes or recommends it.
  • A more engaged user, without forcing them through registration. Registration forms are the bane of marketers: Most consumers disdain them, enter garbage data, and fall off as the forms get longer.  However, As long as users are logged into Facebook they can do this even if they are not logged into Levi’s.com. This means that consumers can ‘like’ a product and engage with the Levi’s product and spread it to their friends on the corporate site and on Facebook. As a result, expect the mouth of the marketing funnel to be wider
  • Consumers take part in marketing and recommendations, increasing upsell opportunity. Levi’s has had social shopping features on their site for some time, you can see the ratings, rankings and comments on each product page, yet in most cases, consumers don’t know who those reviewers are.  Edelman’s Trust research indicates that customers trust each other or ‘people like them’ so this has the opportunity to increase. In theory there could be a great chance of up and cross sell as consumers rely on their actual friends to influence buying decisions. Expect celebrities with large followings to be more influential as what they ‘like’ will cascade over thousands.
  • Social commerce vendors will integrate with Social CRM –yet should be cautious of user privacy. Social vendors like Bazaarvoice, Kickapps*, and Pluck and other customer rating tools that occur post login, need to quickly pay attention to this as it’s both a threat an opportunity. They should develop integration tools and integrate their social data with CRM systems (called Social CRM) to create new and unique forms of data that can anticipate customer needs. Facebook users aren’t fully aware of the long term impacts this has, expect some embarrassing and news worthy stories to appear where a consumer ‘likes’ a product resulting in an unexpected result.

The biggest opportunities are actually unseen. Expect savvy brands to use demand signals from consumers to indicate which products should be ramped up on production, distribution, and marketing, to learn more read my colleague’s blog on Supply Chain Management, by Altimeter’s Lora Cecere.

*An Altimeter client, see disclosure page. We hope you’ll trust our analysis more if we disclose our relationships.

98 Replies to “Social Commerce Breakdown: How Levi’s and Facebook Prompt Your Friends To Improve Your Buying Experience”

  1. I think this tweet from Jessica is interesting:

    “jessicagnon: @jowyang @frostola – being the first/only friend with 'that cute dress' just got a little more complicated.”

    For those that don't want to be wearing what others are wearing to the same party, these social features could be both an early warning systems –or discourage people from buying.

    While I doubt this will play a major impact, it's one of the impacts when everyone knows what's in your 'closet'.

  2. I think this tweet from Jessica is interesting:

    “jessicagnon: @jowyang @frostola – being the first/only friend with 'that cute dress' just got a little more complicated.”

    For those that don't want to be wearing what others are wearing to the same party, these social features could be both an early warning systems –or discourage people from buying.

    While I doubt this will play a major impact, it's one of the impacts when everyone knows what's in your 'closet'.

  3. Hi Jeremiah

    Excellent post. Companies can use customers “Like” date to predict demand patterns for their products. If every website has a Facebook plugin, they will end up in creating their own social search engine. It will show search results based on your friends recommendations & ur like's pattern

    Thanks,
    Wickam

  4. Hi Jeremiah

    Excellent post. Companies can use customers “Like” date to predict demand patterns for their products. If every website has a Facebook plugin, they will end up in creating their own social search engine. It will show search results based on your friends recommendations & ur like's pattern

    Thanks,
    Wickam

  5. Jeremiah,

    I am simply enthralled by some of your blogs..and somewhat staggered at how far behind we are in the UK. I must confess your blog has become somewhat of a bellwether for me to acquire the knowledge required to take some of our clients from the steam age into the 21st century. Many thanks for all the knowledge..I hope I can return the favor someday !!

  6. Jeremiah,

    I am simply enthralled by some of your blog posts…indeed most of them;and somewhat staggered at how far behind we are in the UK. I must confess your blog has become somewhat of a bellwether for me to acquire the knowledge required to take some of our clients from the steam age into the 21st century. Many thanks for all the knowledge..I hope I can return the favor someday !!

  7. Thanks Paul, UK isn't that far behind, it's really a state of mind, not as much about geography.

    Although I live in silicon valley, I'm actually in the midwest in Kansas right now where there's a real hunger for social technology.

  8. Thanks Paul, UK isn't that far behind, it's really a state of mind, not as much about geography.

    Although I live in silicon valley, I'm actually in the midwest in Kansas right now where there's a real hunger for social technology.

  9. Awesome post. Levis did a great job by picking up the facebook social tools so soon and implementing it in a wonderful way! While surfing the Levis site i was just smiling by the way they have used the tools! Way to go!

    They definitely know how to be the first mover and I am sure they will get the advantage too!!!

  10. Awesome post. Levis did a great job by picking up the facebook social tools so soon and implementing it in a wonderful way! While surfing the Levis site i was just smiling by the way they have used the tools! Way to go!

    They definitely know how to be the first mover and I am sure they will get the advantage too!!!

  11. My initial reactions are (1) man, am I getting old or what? (2) this seems brazenly manipulative to me and (3) I wonder if Levi's is setting a trend or if this will fail?

  12. My initial reactions are (1) man, am I getting old or what? (2) this seems brazenly manipulative to me and (3) I wonder if Levi's is setting a trend or if this will fail?

  13. Great post.

    I've been searching for a true example of 'social commerce' and this is pretty close…the intersection of commerce, the viral loop and socialization with the context of an authentic community.

    The more of this we see the better!

  14. Great post.

    I've been searching for a true example of 'social commerce' and this is pretty close…the intersection of commerce, the viral loop and socialization with the context of an authentic community.

    The more of this we see the better!

  15. Jonathan, let's explore the risks, tell us more, some of my thoughts:

    1) Age is a state of mind 😉

    2) In this case Levi's is clearly educating folks on how it works, yet don't expect many retailers to do that, we should expect some shocking situations where products are recommended to others. Tell us more.

    3) We will see. One thing is key, users need to opt in, and clearly know how info will be used, or they'll fall into another beacon trap.

  16. Jonathan, let's explore the risks, tell us more, some of my thoughts:

    1) Age is a state of mind 😉

    2) In this case Levi's is clearly educating folks on how it works, yet don't expect many retailers to do that, we should expect some shocking situations where products are recommended to others. Tell us more.

    3) We will see. One thing is key, users need to opt in, and clearly know how info will be used, or they'll fall into another beacon trap.

  17. Yup, this is still all pre-sales. I've another post coming up how social commerce can be applied at point of sale, and post sales, stay tuned. #bowtie

  18. Yup, this is still all pre-sales. I've another post coming up how social commerce can be applied at point of sale, and post sales, stay tuned. #bowtie

  19. Awesome post and visuals. I had no idea that company pages were starting to look like that. You bring up a really interesting point that company websites and pages will be hard to be distinguished. I think that companies are going to start to become more dedicated to their fan pages because of the ease of accessibility. Its much easier to go to a “like” page and look at a companies products than to type or search the company. Convenience will play a huge role. I also think Facebook's traffic will pay a huge role. Do you see these kinds of features benefiting B2B companies?

  20. Awesome post and visuals. I had no idea that company pages were starting to look like that. You bring up a really interesting point that company websites and pages will be hard to be distinguished. I think that companies are going to start to become more dedicated to their fan pages because of the ease of accessibility. Its much easier to go to a “like” page and look at a company's products than to type or search the company. Convenience will play a huge role. I also think Facebook's traffic will pay a huge role. Do you see these kinds of features benefiting B2B companies?

  21. Great point. While those celebrity folks (real or not) may have 'absolute influence' they may lack 'relative influence' (people you know and who know you).

    Expect a combination of both to work.

  22. Great point. While those celebrity folks (real or not) may have 'absolute influence' they may lack 'relative influence' (people you know and who know you).

    Expect a combination of both to work.

  23. I think this will be different from category to category. I'm not keen on buying the cloth that my friends have “liked”, but I highly value what gadgets they have looked at and “liked”, for example.

  24. I think this will be different from category to category. I'm not keen on buying the cloth that my friends have “liked”, but I highly value what gadgets they have looked at and “liked”, for example.

  25. One big issue I see for companies that is yet unclear to me: It seems that website owners are outsourcing all the intelligence they used to collect about the behavior of their users to the Facebook database. For example, if I like something on Amazon I most likely add it to my wishlist, a set of data, Amazon has full control over and can use however they like. If Amazon starts to implement the like-button and I start using it instead of the wishlist, all the insights will be collected and stored at Facebook. Amazon will have limited access to it. And what happens when Facebook experiences server crashes? Or when someone buys Facebook who has a different idea of whom to give access to their databases?

  26. One big issue I see for companies that is yet unclear to me: It seems that website owners are outsourcing all the intelligence they used to collect about the behavior of their users to the Facebook database. For example, if I like something on Amazon I most likely add it to my wishlist, a set of data, Amazon has full control over and can use however they like. If Amazon starts to implement the like-button and I start using it instead of the wishlist, all the insights will be collected and stored at Facebook. Amazon will have limited access to it. And what happens when Facebook experiences server crashes? Or when someone buys Facebook who has a different idea of whom to give access to their databases?

  27. Jonathan i think the pace of change is so quick, it makes us all feel old. This feild is changing everyday and even new media academics and professionals cannot keep their head above water.

  28. Jonathan i think the pace of change is so quick, it makes us all feel old. This feild is changing everyday and even new media academics and professionals cannot keep their head above water.

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  30. I was reading your post waiting, waiting… to finally see your caution on privacy. Bravo. For sure privacy is an issue but it is a deeper kind of privacy. Having the public possibly see what I think is one thing. Having everyone see what OTHERS think I would like or I am is totally different. Given human natures love of controversy I suspect that it's not the big stars who will have a problem with this type of notoriety, but the average person who never sees it coming.
    – An important question for marketers is how will consumers react if this happens.

  31. I was reading your post waiting, waiting… to finally see your caution on privacy. Bravo. For sure privacy is an issue but it is a deeper kind of privacy. Having the public possibly see what I think is one thing. Having everyone see what OTHERS think I would like or I am is totally different. Given human natures love of controversy I suspect that it's not the big stars who will have a problem with this type of notoriety, but the average person who never sees it coming.
    – An important question for marketers is how will consumers react if this happens.

  32. When was the last time anybody went into their profile and updated the music or books or activities they list. With the “like” integration this is about to do a full 180, and I expect my profile to get very noisy. I am looking to see the approach to organization of this content (date posted, whether a like was whimsical or permanent, location, fine tuning meta-data).

  33. When was the last time anybody went into their profile and updated the music or books or activities they list. With the “like” integration this is about to do a full 180, and I expect my profile to get very noisy. I am looking to see the approach to organization of this content (date posted, whether a like was whimsical or permanent, location, fine tuning meta-data).

  34. This is not question for on FB data, it can be implemented on any business or survey which collect this type of data……Question is how much accurate they can use it………

  35. This is not question for on FB data, it can be implemented on any business or survey which collect this type of data……Question is how much accurate they can use it………

  36. While social media networks provides huge exposure to brands, the present privacy features enabled on Facebook will make it more viral! I really appreciate Levis strategy of integrating Facebook features!

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  38. I am agree with Allen and this levi's screen shot is really good .

  39. I must confess your blog has become somewhat of a bellwether for me to acquire the knowledge required to take some of our clients from the steam age into the 21st century. Many thanks for all the knowledge. I would like Convenience will play a huge role. I also think Facebook's traffic will pay a huge role. Do you see these kinds of features benefiting B2B companies?

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  41. Many thanks for all the knowledge. I would like Convenience will play a huge role. I also think Facebook's traffic will pay a huge role. Do you see these kinds of features benefiting B2B companies? .While social media networks provides huge exposure to brands, the present privacy features enabled on Facebook will make it more viral! I really appreciate Levis strategy of integrating Facebook features! . Thanks for sharing…

  42. One big issue I see for companies that is yet unclear to me: It seems that website owners are outsourcing all the intelligence they used to collect about the behavior of their users to the Facebook database

  43. As the social marketplace becomes more saturated, I think that consumers will be more selective with what information they give away and businesses will have to be more creative in coming up with ways to keep them engaged.

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