Note: The ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index is a new way of tracking Facebook Commerce introduced by ChannelAdvisor in the US in February of 2011. You can read the background information, schedule, etc. in this introductory post. The UK version was launched in May 2011.
March 2012 ChannelAdvisor UK Facebook Commerce Index
The March edition of the UK Facebook Commerce Index has seen little movement for the chart toppers, though overall fan growth jumped by an impressive 1.1 million. Apparel continues to dominate the leader board with Topshop maintaining the prime position. With an accumulation of 348,750 new fans it is clear that ASOS, New Look, River Island and Urban Outfitters are also taking their Facebook dominance seriously and continue to vigorously engage fans and customers. Amazon however was the star of this month’s index by entering the Top 25 for the first time after growing its Likes by 28%!
Last month it was New Look who added the most Likes, and it did the same again this month with an incredible 153,000 extra fans – again kudos to the New Look team on their success in creating such an engaging and effective site.
We also saw Topshop add 142,268 new fans to its already impressive numbers. Notably many of Topshop’s comments appear from international shoppers, a sign that this retail giant is attracting fans globally.
Next has been a regular fixture in our Top 25 and we felt it was well worth drawing some attention to its continued growth and success – growing 12% on February. Next has steadily remained at number 6 position since September and is coming ever closer to hitting 100,000 Likes!
Next has followed the “customer service” route for Facebook, which can make its page appear very cluttered with comments and questions. However, Next’s team is extremely responsive and use their engagements as an opportunity to promote new season ranges, competitions and most recently, the new “Your Next” app.
It really is both impressive and encouraging to see so many of our well known and loved brands taking Facebook so seriously – and great to see this level of interaction!
A couple of months ago we commented on Amazon’s rise up the UK FBCI, but questioned whether a strategy of constantly promoting deals would work with Facebook followers. In March, Amazon climbed 6 places in the Index and also features in our Top 25 growers chart with an impressive 28% increase on February.
However, a closer look at Amazon’s page suggests there may be something of an identity crisis occurring. Amazon’s page is full of promotions, small businesses announcing their launch on Amazon and customers making complaints or queries. Amazon has shied away from customer engagement and has not responded to any customer comments, which has left the Amazon page cluttered with disgruntled comments. Compare this to many of our other Top 25 retailers and it is clear that Amazon will need to make some decisions on its Facebook strategy moving forward.
K&Co is a relatively new brand from the Shop Direct group, which also includes Littlewoods and Very. The company, a merger of Kays, Great Universal and Empire Stores, shot into our charts with an impressive 42% increase in fans compared to February.
Shop Direct implements a very similar Facebook approach for each of its brands and this has proven to be very effective. With regular competitions and frequent posts by a very friendly bunch of people, this site has a real community feel that is proving to appeal strongly to its target market. This will definitely be a brand and a strategy that we will monitor in the coming months!
Although Debenhams sit just outside our Top 25, its growth in Likes over March has pushed the department chain into our Top Growers lists with an impressive 20,000 extra Likes, a 23% increase in March alone. Department stores do not seem to have quite the same pull on Facebook as individual brands (John Lewis being the only department store to crack the Top 25); however this could soon change if Debenhams keep up their current rate of growth!
Debenhams like many brands utilise Facebook as a customer service tool, but also regularly post updates on new styles, trends and ranges (such as its bridal range), and frequently has competitions which continue to drive Likes. The team are engaged and engaging, which when Facebook is concerned should make for a winning combination.
That’s it for the March Index, looking forward to next month!