Amazon connects to Facebook – A new era begins!

A lot of us have been talking about it. Very few clients have dared to implement it. Perhaps not that surprisingly, Amazon launched their facebook connect integration yesterday. It is perhaps the best eCommerce integration I have seen and it is based upon Amazons normal way of presenting offers, but with a twist.

You do not only get the recommendations based upon what you have bought. You get recommendations based on what others in your network have bought. This is perhaps an even stronger sales argument. Previously the recommendation was “People who have bought this book, also bought”. Now they can use the recommendation “Person x an y in your network bought this book as well when buying that book.” They have also included a gift recommendation area which is so good that it almost makes me cry out of joy.

Amazon Facebook Connect Integration – how it works

A user is promted to log in.

On the right side there is the option to connect to your network on Facebook.

Then you go through the sign on process to connect your two accounts. If you want to do this on your own website it is important that you pay notice to the copy here. They are answering the most common worries amongst Facebook users and privacy advocates. It is extremely important to put another step into the connection process just as they’ve done here. They both answer the Why should I? and the Do I dare? questions.

Now the juicy stuff can start to happen. As you log in you get your friends in a list. You get the ones with a birthday on top and you get a couple of other suggestions beneath. Click the image below to enlarge it.

  • Popular Among Your Facebook Friends
  • Birthday and Gift Suggestions for Your Facebook Friends
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Music on Facebook
  • Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Movies on Facebook

This is really how eCommerce and personalization should work with regard to social networks. Imagine the implications on your margins this could have if you use the OpenGraph API to suggest packages of products based on networks to your site visitors.

  • Imagine if they have added that they like a specific artist, and you can offer them the same deal as that artist likes.
  • Perhaps 5 people in a specific persons network have bought one specific camera? Then perhaps that’s a good thing to tell the visitor about.
  • If a person has bought product A but all their friends bought product B as well, then an integration as the above could help out with suggesting this to the person
  • If someone has a birthday and they have bought stuff from your store to other friends, you should be able to remind those receivers that they can return the favor once it is the first persons time to have a birthday

The extensions of eCommerce in a social environment are limitless. You will earn loads of money and since you don’t have to maintain the database/CRM yourself, as it is hosted, managed and updated by the users themselves, you don’t have to worry about your investment growing old either. Data has gone from being an asset into being a common good. It is what we do with the data that creates value or doesn’t create value.

7 thoughts on “Amazon connects to Facebook – A new era begins!”

    • Absolutely! For books that holds. But how about food? How about Hotel rooms? How about travel or electronics?

      But in the case of amazon they get the possibility to enter the gift space in an innovative way plus they can now extract suggestions for addresses 🙂 I think they are better off and are willing to risk one or two lost sales due to co-ops 🙂

  1. What ever should be great at this connection.

    I am very sceptical because of the fact, that I allow the access to my friends list, theire current town and theire interests.

    Or in short, EVERYBODY, that have me in his friendslist, can allow amazon the access to this information about me, without beeing asked myself.

    This means in short: Absolutly no control over my personal datas, that i have entrusted facebook with…

    so for me and under this conditions, there is nothing great about this connection

    • I perfectly understand your concern. If you have restricted the access to your information, then Amazon will not be allowed to extract it. It is only information that is not restricted by you that they can access. Also, it is only the person giving Amazon the access that will be able to view your information on Amazon’s platform.

      The rule of thumb still holds, which is that anything you put on Facebook can be accessed by anyone at any time. If you don’t want it to be accessed, then you shouldn’t put information online. Facebook is free of charge, but it is not free as they own equal rights to the information you put into their network. This is what you agree upon when adding your profile to Facebook.

      I am not saying that I do not have concerns about privacy as well. All I am saying is that once we enter the agreement with Facebook by guaranteeing that we own the rights to the information and that we give them equal rights to that information, then they have the rights to do with that information what they please.

      When Beacon – Facebook’s ad system – was launched a couple of years back, people hated it and thought of it as an intrusion in privacy. They had to pull it back. Today it is fully launched and people find it helpful instead. I think we are moving towards an online world where we don’t have the kind of privacy the offline world gives us the fortune too. Whether this is right or wrong I am not the one to tell. The data driven web however offers huge promise to business though. I don’t think that we should look the other way, but I think we should try to find ways in using the new data sets in a way that offers greater services to customers and helps people make better decisions when they buy stuff.


Leave a Comment