Amazon Launches Facebook e-Commerce Store

Amazon has just launched a Facebook e-commerce store, but sadly it's not a Facebook-enabled version of Amazon.com. Instead, the new store is integrated into Procter & Gamble's Facebook page for Pampers. Yes, Pampers diapers.

Amazon's first big venture into Facebook-enabled selling is targeted at Facebook moms, who can also use the store to shop for other P&G products like laundry detergent and shampoo.

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Yes, Diapers. Boring Ol' Diapers

The news of Amazon's first Facebook store was first reported by TechFlash, but we've reached out to Amazon.com to confirm whether or not this is, in fact, the actual first, as details were not available in the press release.

Assuming it is, though, the choice makes sense. Those who have opted into to follow the Facebook fan page for Pampers are clearly the target market for buying the product.

The store front is made available via a tab at the top of the fan page which simply reads "Shop Now." Click the tab and you're taken to what is essentially, a micro-site dedicated to everything P&G, with a big focus on the leading product, the Pampers diapers. However, the left-side navigation also directs you to other products including "home care" items like laundry soaps and paper products and "personal care" items like deodorant, hair care and oral care products.

The Facebook store is powered by Amazon's Webstore service, a solution that helps customers build custom, branded e-commerce sites powered by Amazon.com. Facebook-enabled Webstores are not currently listed as one of the options or features of the service. That means this was a custom solution Amazon built for P&G, possibly as an experiment in the area of Facebook e-commerce.

But Wait! This is Bigger Than it Seems

I know what you're thinking: "Big deal, you can buy Pampers on Facebook. Who cares?"

But that's missing the point.

Buying diapers via a P&G-owned Facebook page is only the beginning. Although Amazon spokeswoman Tracy Ogden told TechFlash that the company "wouldn't discuss future plans" when asked if Amazon would be powering more storefronts in the future, we imagine it will. Facebook now has half a billion users now and many of them have opted into relationships with companies, brands and products through the use Facebook "likes." These are a company's best customers - the ones who are willing to watch the ads, share their opinions and check out the latest deals and discounts. It only goes to reason that they will buy the products, too.

Or so you would think. Interestingly enough, social commerce hasn't yet led to a large volume of sales, Forrester Research e-commerce analyst Brian Walker told TechFlash.

That broad statement seems to discount the successes some savvy brands have already seen leveraging social networks, though. Take Best Buy, for example. It, too, has an integrated shopping tab on its fan page. Only 6 weeks after its late 2009 launch, it helped the company grow its fan base from 27,000 users to 900,000 and sent traffic to its official website. 

If this topic interests you, note that Best Buy will be one of the companies presenting at analyst firm Altimeter Group's upcoming conference, "The Rise of Social Commerce." Other companies speaking at the event include Hallmark, Dell, Nielsen, Newell Rubbermaid, Virgin America and Zynga.

Buying diapers on Facebook may not seem exciting to you, but the potential for Amazon stores on Facebook certainly is.

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