Customer Focus

Play.com customers spent £2m through Facebook in 2011

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Play.com made sales worth £2m through its Facebook page in 2011, the company said today.

The retailer also said it had been able to put value on the worth of its Facebook fans, finding that when fans engaged with it on the social media site they spent an average 24% more than customers who did not.

Play.com has worked with social marketing platform Engage Sciences to analyse how its Facebook fans shop. It also found that those customers who made their first purchase as a result of a Facebook referral spent 30% more than the average customer in their first year of using the website.

Play.com, owned by Rakuten, found that in the last 12 months it had grown its Facebook following from 75,000 or more than 350,000, growth of more than 370%. That, it calculated, has a potential reach of more than 38m friends of fans.

It also found that the volume of sales coming through Facebook rose by 80% in 2011, compared to the previous year, to £2m of gross merchandise sales.

Play.com also has more than 40,000 followers on Twitter, where it found that its top tweets could see more than a million impressions.

Adam Stewart, director of marketing at Rakuten’s Play.com (@adster1), said: “We know that there is a lot of discussion at the moment about how to quantify the value of social fans. Our results show that through intelligent engagement, social fans, particularly on Facebook, are massively valuable to online retailers.

“In fact, Facebook fans can be more valuable to online retailers than those gained through paid-for channels. Our approach has helped Rakuten’s Play.com attract over £2m of sales in 2011 that can be directly attributed to Facebook.

“It’s not just about increasing sales through our Facebook fans; we see social channels as being a huge part of engaging and rewarding our fans. Through the EngageSciences platform we can create holistic profiles of our fans – looking at how they engage with and share our content, we can create online campaigns that are more compelling and better reward our biggest social promoters and advocates.”

EngageSciences chief executive Richard Jones said: “Engagement is critical for all brands using social channels. When we started working with Rakuten’s Play.com they had an actively engaged daily audience of around 2,000, but by getting to know its social community better the team has increased average engagement six fold, with daily levels now averaging over 12,000 and peak engagement topping 40,000.

“It’s great to work with Rakuten’s Play.com to finally prove what we’ve been saying for a long time: intelligent use of Facebook does directly support revenue generation.”

2 comments on “Play.com customers spent £2m through Facebook in 2011

  1. Simon Carter said:

    This is all very well but to put this in context, Play.com has sales of about £400m, so Facebook is not generating much in the way of sales really (~0.5%). I think they’ve done loads better things with their site which are more useful, such as their recommendations and the big navs for each product range. A big Facebook presence is a nice-to-have and will become meaningless as most people will move on to using Facebook on their mobile where it is much more difficult for brands to get exposure than on the full site.

    • Simon – brands will not be impacted by the move to social if they are using a platform like EngageSciences. With SmartURL and device detection Facebook brand campaigns can work just as well on a mobile as they can on a desktop, with all the viral mechanics that they currently have today. Whilst Play.com does have impressive statistics around web revenue built up over more than a decade, there are some facts that can’t be ignored – Facebook is generating significant return on investment within a short period of working through that channel and it is growing fast, secondly the more web users retailers can migrate to being Facebook fans has a direct correlation on an individuals value as a customer. Our customer data shows that on average a Facebook fan is worth 25-35% more in revenue than someone that is a non fan. The additional communication channel a retailer opens by getting a customer to like them on a facebook results in sales.

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