Introducing the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index

March 3, 2011

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

When we started thinking about Facebook Commerce, we immediately started thinking about Facebook Pages. Facebook encourages pretty much any non-personal entity (businesses, celebs, causes, brands, etc.) to create a FB Page as their home on Facebook. You can read more about pages at facebook.com/about/pages. Here’s a snippet of what Facebook says are common uses of Pages.

Facebook_pages

As we think about commerce, Facebook Pages are one of the ways in which online retailers are trying to leverage Facebook for brand, conversation, engagement and ultimately, more sales. So clearly any blog about Facebook Commerce has to spend a fair amount of time looking at Pages.

The Birth of the CA Facebook Commerce Index (CAFBCI)

We are very early in the life of Facebook commerce and it remains to be seen if pages will be the foundation of Facebook commerce in the future, one of a many-pronged strategy or (not probable, but possible) simply not something that retailers should focus on.

Pages come in literally thousands of flavors and there’s an explosion of applications and uses for Pages. There is also a whole new school of thinking around social metrics such as fan engagement, social influence, viral loop, etc. All of that is great, but the fundamental first thing you need on any Page before any of that secondary stuff even matters is Fans. Note that Facebook changed the way Pages work and instead of ‘fan-ing’ them, you Like them, but we still prefer the term Page Fans as it differentiates from the off-FB plug-in Like button system (some people call those transient likes vs. Pages which are more permanent likes).

We started digging into this and while there are several sources of raw Fan/Page data, we realized there was no database that looked at Fan/Page trends among internet retailers. Sensing an opportunity, we decided to create the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index.

The CAFBCI Goal and How it Works

The goal for the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index is pretty simple – to track the trends in page fans for online retailers and use that data to deduce best practices for online retailer fan acquisition.

The way it works is we have hand curated a database of over 500 online retailers that have Facebook Pages. We’ve been tracking their fan counts daily for the last 4-6 months and based on the data we saw, we realized there are a ton of interesting insights to be gained. Based on the data quality we’ve seen, we decided that the time is right to launch the Index. Our plan is to release the data monthly and slice the data three ways:

  • Top 25 Facebook Commerce Pages – This table will detail the top 25 online retailers by total fan count.  Over time, I imagine the ranks will change, new players will enter and some will wain.  It will be interesting to track this over time.  There’s a discrepancy of 10X between number 1 and number 25 on the list, so there’s a lot of room for improvement even among the leaders and certainly among the laggards.
  • Top 25 Facebook Commerce Growers – This ‘view’ will show the top 25 online retailers sorted by the number of total new fans added since the last month. This is a great way to see which retailers are picking up steam and then dig into why.
  • Top 25 Facebook Commerce Percentage Growers – Finally, this data set highlights the top 25 percentage growers.  At 11M+ fans, if Victoria secret adds 100K fans, that’s actually not a big move, but if another retailers adds 100K fans, from a previous 50K fan base, that’s a meaningful change from a percentage standpoint we should look at.

As time goes on and we learn along with readers what is interesting and what you would like to see, we may expand the published lists to be longer or add different views of the data.

Note if you are a retailer and don’t see your name on the list, or want verification we have your Facebook page in the database, email us at marketing@channeladvisor.com.

What Are Your Thoughts?

The whole goal of the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index is to stimulate discussions around Page best practices and Facebook Commerce. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you like about the index, what you don’t like, what you’d like to see added, etc. Feel free to email us or discuss in comments.