Case Study : F-Commerce Shines for Apricot LaneFebruary 2014 By Joe Keenan
SOLUTION: Partnered with an online shopping cart provider to build a store app on its Facebook page.
RESULTS: Since launching its Facebook storefront two years ago, ALP has tripled its monthly f-commerce sales, which now account for more than 50 percent of the company's total sales. In addition, ALP has seen its number of Facebook followers grow from 5,000 to over 140,000.
For a boutique apparel and accessories retailer such as Apricot Lane Peoria (ALP), building a community of fans, and ultimately converting those fans into customers, is a top challenge. With a limited brick-and-mortar presence and a modest digital advertising budget, getting brand recognition was a concern for ALP. Enter Facebook.
The social media network has proven effective at extending ALP's reach. While selling its products on Facebook was always a goal for ALP, it first needed to create an engaging environment on the social site before it could begin introducing merchandise to fans. The team at ALP has worked to create personal relationships with its Facebook fans by posting behind-the-scenes photos, telling stories about their families, and giving sneak-peeks at new merchandise. With a trust factor established, ALP felt confident it could sell its products on Facebook — something larger retail brands have struggled with.
"Our success comes from the fact that we're personal with our customers," says Jena Green, co-owner of ALP. "They follow our Facebook page and feel like part of the family. Our customers are more loyal to us for this very reason. A lot of people feel disconnected with ‘corporate’ Facebook sites. If they want something from Nordstrom, for example, they're going to go straight to its website because the Facebook page just isn't engaging enough. It's the complete opposite with us; they can't wait to see what we're posting to our Facebook page next."