September 2012 UK Facebook Commerce Index (UK FBCI)
September’s UK Facebook Commerce Index is here, and the numbers did not disappoint this month! With a number of movers and shakers in our Top 25 and many retailers showing some solid growth on August, we’ve got some great numbers to share. Across September we recorded a month on month increase of 5% - equivalent to 1,449,794 Likes, and many retailers had a very strong September indeed. Not least of all is Amazon, so after months of incredible performance, we’ve decided to dedicate an entire section of our blog to the Marketplaces – eBay and Amazon. We’ll be tracking these two every month and providing an update.
In addition, we also saw a new entry to our Top 25 – something which doesn’t happen very often! Asda jumped to number 23 spot, up from just outside our Top 25 - check out our analysis on its Facebook presence below.
Spotlight on Marketplaces
Since adding them to our Index, eBay and Amazon have both had a very strong impact on our Top 25, demonstrating the strength of their user community and how well this interacts with a social channel such as Facebook. Amazon in particular has had an incredible few months of growth on Facebook, and over September the marketplace added over 393,000 Likes – making them the top grower by number this month once again. Even more excitingly, Amazon jumped into the number 2 position within our Top 25 list, shaking up the top 3 that has held strong for many, many months. Topshop are still holding strong onto that number 1 spot, but with Amazon growing at 24% over September compared to Topshop’s 10%, it may not be long before Amazon steal its crown. As with every month, we ask what Amazon are doing to drive such growth, and we can seemingly attribute this increase to is a focus on deals (especially the new Lightening Deals), new products and tapping into the hot topics of the moment – such as a timely post promoting the new season of Homeland available for sale on the day of the first episode of Season 2:
Not forgetting eBay, September was a very strong month for them as well, increasing Likes by 21% (in fact this performance puts them at number 3 in our top growers chart behind Amazon and Topshop). eBay also managed to jump up our Top 25 by three places to position 10 this month which is fantastic – driven perhaps by promotion of their new tool “Help Me Shop”, the unveiling of eBay’s new logo, and a £5 voucher for Facebook users.
Asda jumped into our Top 25 this month after adding an impressive 49,000 Likes over the month of September and increasing its overall percentage by 14%. The supermarkets traditionally do well on Facebook (again the sense of community really suits the social nature of a Facebook page) and Asda has really tapped into this, with many of its posts generating hundreds if not thousands of Likes. One post in particular must have struck a chord with many of Asda’s followers after they cut their price of fuel – generating over 11,000 Likes in response, and nearly 2,500 shares:
As we’ve seen time and time again through our Index, success on Facebook is often determined by connecting with “fans” on a particular topic, and Asda seem to have this really spot on, with personable posts, focusing on very everyday topics such as childhood sweets, Sunday Roasts, the weather and even the Flu jab...all with a sprinkling of the all-important competition of course!
Finally, Asda have impressed us here at ChannelAdvisor with their “Get Cooking” app – a fantastic way to engage users of all ages to encourage them to cook and share recipe ideas.
Another retailer who had a great September, feelunique.com added 13% more Likes to its total over the month of September, equivalent to just over 5,000 Likes.
feelunique.com has a really fantastic style and approach to its Facebook page; it’s friendly and personable, with a really funky edge to it that suits its product range perfectly.
The team post regular updates on not only exciting new products and offers, but also on fashion/beauty related topics such as London Fashion Week, Q&A’s with make-up artists and beauty brand owners, and regular competitions. Also (and perhaps more importantly), the feelunique.com team is very quick to questions from shoppers, which is great to see and I’m sure gives that extra special element of service.
One of Kingfisher Group’s flagship brands, trade supplier and DIY monolith, Screwfix, sees a healthy 9% rise in fans this month, adding another 5,400 to its Facebook page, and securing 12th place in our ‘Top Growers’ index for September.
This represents an encouraging rise in fans for Screwfix who, irrespective of still being somewhat off the pace when it comes to the Top 25 in our Index, are certainly honing its skills in engagement – particularly with their photos and commentary aimed firmly at the UK tradespeople!
Be it a cup of tea, full English or imaginative company names for your local handyman, everything’s catered-for in Screwfix’s Fanpage these days…
Seasoned Facebook Index residents, Sainsbury’s, continue its assault on our Top 25 chart, rising one place to 17th overall. No doubt keeping its eye on young upstarts, Asda, and taking strength from Tesco’s recent share price woes, the grocery retailer also featured in 15th place in our ‘Top Growers’ index, adding over 17,000 fans to its page (a 3% growth from August).
Engagement seems to be – as ever – high on the agenda for Sainsbury’s, with National Curry Week and Hallowe’en being seasonal and relevant vehicles for soliciting customer feedback and comment.
What is particularly clever with this line of seemingly casual questioning is that Sainsbury’s is constantly gleaning product-related information from potential consumers – most likely with a view to developing and broadening its in-store (and online) offering. This is a great example of direct marketing with a relatively low cost base, and imaginative angle.
It would be interesting to perhaps monitor the fans’ responses to these questions, and conduct your own investigation to see if those particular curries or Hallowe’en outfits ended up your local store!
Pine Solutions/Cotswold Company
And finally, a special mention to new entrants in our ‘Top Growers’ Index, the little-known Blackbird Retail Holdings’ twin homewares retailers, These two – separate – brands have been somewhat under the radar for the last couple of years, having concentrated on perfecting their offering, and ensuring that the right people were there to take the businesses to the next level.
Indeed, they’ve certainly done so with respect to our Facebook Index, seeing a 26% and 15% increase in fans over the last month – impressively, whilst the total fan numbers are still relatively low (1,123 and 75 at time of writing), there’s no doubt that competitions have proven an effective way of generating those extra numbers.
We look forward to seeing how these two newbies fare in the coming months!