Facebook is fast becoming a serious venue for retail marketing. Last week Amazon announced an innovative implementation of Facebook Connect. Now ShopLocal, owned by Gannett Co, has launched a new set of tools to enable retailers to integrate local circulars and ads on their corporate Facebook pages.
The ShopLocal Facebook digital marketing suite is already in use by Canadian Tire, CVS, JCPenney, Michaels, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Save-A-Lot, Sports Authority, Staples, True Value and Walgreens. The software lets retailers use the local weekly circular – a proven retail marketing technique of long standing – in the new world of social networking.
The suite includes a Deals Tab, Deals Widgets, targeted ads and Become a Fan’ widgets for third party websites. When people visit a Facebook page that has the software in place, they would see the most relevant and personalized circular offering based on their location and demographic data. However, Facebook users must ‘like’ the corporate page or agree to allow the retailer to view their basic details before the customization can take effect.
While some Facebook users resent the intrusion of marketing on their social networking space, others welcome it especially if it means they get relevant discounts. For example, the JCPenney page, which is using ShopLocal, has more than 917,000 fans.