Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Facebook to unveil shopping service to its network

Users log on to social networks to make friends. Now those connections could impact how an etailer or product will fair online. That is because Facebook is set to unveil a shopping tab within its social network that would allow users to share product information and where they purchased products within the network.

Here is how the platform would work: when a user purchases a product online, they can input the information - cost, where it was bought and how they like it - along with a discount or coupon that other users can then use on the item.

This is a first of its kind service but it could result in revenue increases for marketers.

A recent survey from Deloitte found that about 60% of Americans read online reviews and about 80% of those readers are heavily impacted by the review. While younger shoppers are more heavily influenced, all ages surveyed (ages 17 and up) said that online reviews helped them make some sort of decision about a purchase.

"Consumers are increasingly empowered, everyone has a voice, and information and opinions are instantly dispersed,” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and US consumer products group leader at Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.