Heineken are looking to take advantage of their 1 million Facebook members by creating the first Facebook shop where alcohol and branded clothing and other merchandise can be bought. What possibilities does this make for other brands looking to reach out to their consumer market? A Facebook shop would give Heineken as a brand an incredible amount of reach, and they will also be possible to monitor the popular products and use the social media site to conduct research.
The power of social networking is growing as big brands are using the platform to advertise, announce or showcase brands products in recent years, with French Connection launching YouTique on YouTube and Dell using Twitter to announce sales reports and new product releases. With Facebook’s current users numbering over 500 million, the brand message could potentially be viewed by millions. Even for Heineken which is a globally recognised brand, the possibility to be so readily available to such a vast number of consumers must be very appealing.
Heineken are offering the chance for their customers to choose what products are sold on the site, which creates a place where the users have a strong personal connection. With Heineken becoming the first brand to sell alcohol and branded products through Facebook, are they now trying to compete with other online shopping sites? Facebook Marketplace proved popular, as a place where users could sell their own products to other users by posting descriptions online. Facebook are expanding, and always appear to be releasing updates and new features to the site, could an online shopping site be the start to a global platform on which Facebook can run an online shopping experience?
What does this mean for Heineken? Facebook has given them a stage in which they can further strengthen their brand image. Their increased global reach and Facebook platform is likely to increase sales and brand awareness, which could result in more companies creating online Facebook stores. Heineken may have tapped into a potentially huge market, and it will be intriguing to see how the consumers and different brands react.