April 2011 ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index (FBCI)

May 10, 2011

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Note: The ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index is a new way of tracking Facebook Commerce introduced by ChannelAdvisor in February of 2011.  You can read the background information, schedule, etc. in this introductory post.

April 2011 ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index

April was another  very strong month for fan growth.  Retailers continue to hone their Facebook strategies and Sucharita@Forrester has started a healthy debate if there’s any steak to go with Facebook’s sizzle.  Our position in that debate is pretty much 180 degrees opposite Sucharita (in the middle/long term0 so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.  183m online retailer fans is about the size of Amazon’s active buyer base, but Facebook won’t be a channel for retailers – Really?

Here’s what we saw from  a macro level in growth of the audience across the entire index:

  • Growth – The total number of online retailer fans increased 8% since March – That’s a 96% annualized growth rate without compounding, so clearly Facebook users continue to ‘Fan/Like’ pages for online retailers at a strong pace.  The pace is steady, flat from Feb/March’s 8%.
  • Audience – The total fan count grew from  169.7m to 183.5m fans from March to April.  This is the aggregate fan count across > 500 pages without de-duplication, but indicative of the scale of the Facebook Commerce trends we have all heard anecdotally and now we are able to track quantitatively.

Now let’s look at the three different views of the data: Top 25, Top 25 Growers and Top 25 Percentage Growers.

ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Top 25


This month we’ve added a feature that reader’s requested in the top 25 – showing the last month’s rank.   We’ve colour coded this so that green shows a move UP, red DOWN and no colour is flat.

Kohl’s was the biggest mover, shooting up 6 spots from 17 to 11 fuled by 900k new fans or 27% growth.  Kohls ran a big ‘Brag about Mom’ Mother’s day contest for a $500 Kohls card that seems to be behind the leap in fans – you can see it on their FB page and here’s a snapshot of what it looked like:



Top Growers

Next we report on the online retailers that added the most absolute fans.

We already covered Kohl’s which had both a strong showing in terms of new fans and % growth.  GUESS is another big mover – adding ~200k fans for a 22% jump in fans.
Guess has done several things that seem to be driving that trend:
  • Put exclusive content behind their FB page
  • Integrated campaign with Elle magazine
  • Like buttons prevelent on every product page

Here’s the page promotion, notice the clear messaging about the benefits of being a fan:



Top Percentage Growers

Finally, let’s look at online retailer with > 1k fans by percentage growth

Proflowers saw a near doubling of fans from March, most likely due to to Mother’s day promotions as did 800-flowers.  Most of the other retailers on this list are growing because they are starting to adopt best practices such as:
  • Implementing like buttons on product pages
  • Linking to FB Page throughout site
  • Integrating FB Page in all outbound messages (email, etc.)
  • Promoting FB page with promotions, exclusive content, etc.



Let us know if you see any interesting promotions or best-practices and we’ll be sure to highlight them in future editions of the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index.

Seeking Alpha Disclaimer: I am long Google and Amazon.  eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.  ChannelAdvisor has over 3000 retailer customers many of whom are included in the ChannnelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index and maybe discussed in the context of Facebook commerce best practices.