JC Penney is upping the ante for its competitors in the whole social networking/e-commerce game, announcing this week that its full catalog will now be available on Facebook with all the shopping bells and whistles included.
Powered by Usablenet, the fully integrated application expands on the social networking tools that we’ve seen come out over the last two years and will be available under the Shop tab on JCP’s Facebook fan page.
Users will have a full range of shopping options with the new service, including the ability add and/or remove items from a shopping cart, as well as checkout, pay with credit cards, and tailor their shipping addresses and information. And taking a page from the likes of SortPrice.com’s own merchant store application, JC Penney’s also includes community features that let Facebookers compare, share and like products as well.
“With over 1.3 million friends and growing, our Facebook page remains a vital tool for engaging our customers as they explore and share the JCPenney brand,” said Tom Nealon, JCPenney group executive vice president. “By introducing commerce capability, we are able to take our Facebook experience to the next level, providing convenient features that encourage social integration and user contribution as our customers shop.”
This is the first social networking application produced by Usablenet, which traditionally has specialized in mobile web, kiosk, tablet, and assistive solutions. Bringing the company’s expertise in those other areas to this new venture, Usablenet’s platform for JC Penney has a few other features as well, including:
–Curated Inventory: selected categories and products from the traditional e-commerce website are now extended to Facebook;
–Search: enables full search of all products currently included in the brand’s product pages;
–Review: product display pages are integrated with reviews API, allowing users of the community to comment on a product;
–Analytics: Usablenet supports Google Analytics to understand and maximize ROI by tracking campaigns, page metrics, and e-commerce conversions.
“By extending the Usablenet platform to Facebook, we now allow our clients to leverage the same robust, reliable, secure platform to the world’s largest social network as an additional channel to increase sales,” said Nick Taylor, Usablenet President. “Retailers, such as JCPenney, can now drive revenue by engaging with fans, displaying products, supporting full purchase, and tracking analytics within their Facebook communities.”
We haven’t heard of any other retailers bringing Usablenet on for a Facebook solution, even though the company boasts more than 300 clients. It remains to be seen if Usablenet, even with a high profile addition such as Penney’s, can compete in an area where other companies have been flourishing for the better part of two years already.
As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments!