Well, the geeks here at ReferralCandy actually went to some lengths to find out, and then got me to write about it. First, we collated all the websites on Alexa that were online retailers (we took out those companies that had physical stores, so Victoria’s Secret sadly doesn’t count). Then, we crawled their webpages to find out where their Facebook pages were, and how many likes were on each Facebook page. Finally, we picked out the top 10, and checked out their pages in detail to see how the heck they got a million likes or more (and we did all this while delivering a smoother refer-a-friend web-app for your online store).
It was a lot of work, but it was also a good excuse to procrastinate with some e-window shopping at work. So without further ado, here’s the Top 10 most popular e-retailers on Facebook, as voted in by the mouse-clicking masses.
10. InfiBeam (937k likes)
We kick off the list at number 10 with the popular Indian e-commerce site InfiBeam, which sells everything from computers to flowers. Their Facebook page is full of pithy and earnest sayings, like this one above from Charlie Chaplin. I think it’s sweet, and their customers like it too, apparently.
9. Flipkart.com (1.09m likes)
Flipkart.com founder Binny Bansal tells a great story about how he started the Indian online bookseller from a two-bedroom apartment with his brother in 2007. In a recent interview, he says that every day, one of them would go on a bike to buy books and make their own catalogue. ” We would sit down on the floor and make the packages to give to the courier agencies for shipment.” It’s since come a long way from it’s humble beginnings and now sells music, movies, games, cameras, etc. It’s been likened to India’s Amazon, but with cash-on-delivery and other innovations tailored for the Indian e-commerce market.
Their Facebook page goes by simple themes (this month’s theme is “technology” and last month’s was “rain”). We also really like their use of infographics that their customers can relate to, like this one on the A-Z of Indian cuisine.
8. Newegg.com (1.09m likes)
The guys at newegg.com sell a wide range of electronics, as well as some geeky-techy eenie-meenie stuff, like this TV Universal Remote Control Keychain, in case, you know, you needed to switch channels while on the go. They’ve got a great Facebook page which asks some quirky questions such as “Do you consider your computer a male, female or just an object?”. Well, more than 1400 people responded to that. Some sample answers. “Don’t know, I respect it’s privacy” or “It’s female. Her name is Cortana.” and so on. Clever and conversational content that resonates with the right audience, that’s why Newegg.com comes in at Number 8 (beating out Flipkart by about 500 votes, this one was closer than close).
7. Fashionandyou.com (1.12m likes)
Fashionandyou.com is a leading Indian fashion site that specializes in 3 day deals for site members on clothing and accessories. While their Facebook page is not exactly groundbreaking stuff (nice pictures of nice ladies in nice clothes), their social refer-a-friend programme and deep discounting has helped to generate over 3.6 million members via social media channels. Hey, referrals rock!
6. Worldsoccershop.com (1.35m likes)
It’s no wonder that the beautiful game is in the top 10 list of most popular online stores on facebook. Started by a failed soccer player from Brixton, England in 2001, Worldsoccershop.com has turned into something of a behemoth in online sales of replica team jerseys, boots and all other kinds of soccer paraphernalia. According to their website, they ordered 200,000 balls for the FIFA 2010 World Cup alone (up from 20 for the 2002 World Cup). That’s a lot of balls, Mr Anderson!
Their Facebook page is pretty straightforward, with droolworthy pics of the latest boots and replica jerseys on sale. But when your clientele is made up of the world’s testosterone laden young men playing the world’s most popular sport, you’re bound to get a few likes!
5. Yepme.com (1.36m likes)
Having started just two short years ago, Yepme is an India based online retailer specializing in private-label mens’ and women’s clothing for the 2nd and 3rd tier cities in India, where designer labels fear to thread. An aggressive social media and viral tv campaign (see the funny youtube clip above) has seen Yepme reach more than 1.3million likes on Facebook. Who’s gonna be watching this up and coming brand closely? Yep me.
4. EastBay (1.46m likes)
Americans are fanatical about sports, and EastBay is one of the leading online retailers of sportswear from football to cheerleading. Like worldsoccershop.com, their Facebook page seems to follow a tried and tested formula by posting snazzy pictures of sportswear and sportsmen (be like Mike, anyone?), and asking their scores of customers to comment on which ones they like best. It’s kinda like sports porn. And 1.4m people are addicted to it.
3. Peixe Urbano (1.59m likes)
Coming in at No. 3 is the only Brazilian online retailer on our list. Peixe Urbano (which means urban fish in Portuguese – yay Google Translate!) was founded in 2009 as a group buying site for local products and services, and is today present in major Brazilian cities as well Argentina, Mexico and Chile. With more than 16 million users and an expanding Latin American market in ecommerce, this is one site to watch.
2. ShoeDazzle (1.99m likes)
And the first runner-up of our inaugural online store facebook popularity contest? It’s none other than ShoeDazzle, a online Ladies’ shoe store with a personal stylist function thrown in based on customer preferences. We like their website for its sleek look set against a minimal white background, and their Facebook page is chock-full of item promotions and fun polls, interspersed with other social media like Twitter and Pinterest.
Infamous shoe fan and wife-of-a-dictator Imelda Marcos once said “I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty”. Personally, I believe that you only ever need two pairs of shoes, one for work and one for playing soccer (see item 6 above). Unless you’re a soccer player of course. But hey, it seems that 2m rabid ShoeDazzle fans on Facebook beg to differ.
1. Amazon.com (12m likes!)
And the one Facebook page to rule them all? You guessed it, it’s none other than Amazon.com, and they tower over the market with a whopping 12m likes. That’s 5m more than Mitt Romney! Amazon’s Facebook page keeps things interesting by asking viewers to comment on their favourite singers, movies, games, gadgets etc. It also touches on key product launches and the human stories behind them – its post on the re-launch of the Furby asked customers to relate the longest time they’ve waited in line for a hot toy (and got 1700 comments). But mostly their Facebook page got a lot of likes by being, well, Amazon.
How to get more likes on your Facebook page
So, after a few days of Facebooking, what have we learnt from the most popular online retailers on Facebook? While it’s clear that how big your Facebook following is necessarily a function of how many customers you have, there’s a lot of things we can learn from the top 10 nevertheless. Here are three tips we picked up from the best in the business.
- Know who your customers are
The best Facebook pages for B2C businesses understand their target demographic. Newegg.com targeted their geeky clientele by asking them a whimsical question about what gender their computers were. Flipkart.com reached out to their Indian mass market with infographics that they could relate to, such as this one about cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. The best content speaks to the heart of your loyal Facebook friends, who will spread the word in turn.
- Let your audience do the talking
Many of the top 10 online retailers on our list use interactive activities to get the audience involved. For instance, ShoeDazzle is a master of this with online polls and contests such as this one on the winning look for the Emmy Awards, with the winning items getting a discount on their store. Getting your Facebook community involved in commenting, voting and posting gives them a sense of ownershop of the Facebook page, as well as your brand.
- Post. Alot.
Most of the Top 10 on our list post on a daily basis, some multiple times a day. Keeping things fresh with a joke or the latest product update helps keep your Facebook following coming back for more, and adds a sense of vibrance and activity to your page.
Which Top 10 List do you want to see next?
So from India to Brazil to the US, from Football to Furbies, that’s our roundup of the most liked online retailers on Facebook from around the globe, as well as what makes them likeable. We hope this helps you understand better what works on Facebook for your online store.
Got a top 10 list you want to see on the ReferralCandy blog? Let us know below. Till next time.Alvinl is the marketing guy at www.ReferralCandy.com, the refer-a-friend app that increases your sales through word of mouth. In his spare time he loves geeking out on technology, psychology and economics news. Image credit: Sean MacEntee