Open Graph provides opportunities for savvy retailers

Posted: Thursday 29th September 2011 in Retail Strategy, Thought Leadership.

Open Graph aims to connect all your online activity

Last week’s announcement by Facebook that Open Graph was being extended to include a wider range of web-based properties will provide a wealth of information – and increased sales – for retailers able to exploit its potential.

Previously, Open Graph collected information on a user’s interaction within Facebook’s walled garden, adding it to the data from all those Like and Share buttons clicked on when visiting third party sites. The walls are now being expanded to include properties such as Amazon, Spotify and The Guardian.

If you’re a Facebook user and you permit the social network to collect information, every story you read on The Guardian’s website, every song you listen to on Spotify, and everything you buy on Amazon, can be added to your news feed.

But that’s only half the story.

Happen to be a ‘fan’ of the new Masserati? Facebook knows this. And now, Amazon does too. Being a ‘fan’ of an expensive Italian sports car doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the market to buy one. But could it offer an indication of the type of products Amazon should recommend on your next visit?

Forget ‘People who bought x also liked…’. The extension of Open Graph will soon mean we’ll be seeing ‘People who bought x, read y and listened to z, also liked…’.

The ability to provide a more fully-rounded profile of a customer based on their web interactions will allow retailers to provide more targeted ads, emails and shopping recommendations. This can only lead to an increase in incremental sales.

Social media for retailers is about to get a lot more exciting, and a lot more effective as a sales generator.