How Apps Can Help Market Your Business, Increase Sales - Page 3

By Jennifer Schiff
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Don’t Forget about Facebook Apps

When Melrose Jewelers, a leading online retailer of luxury watches, was looking for a way to increase customers and sales, it turned to Facebook -- specifically to a clever Facebook app.

"With more than 629 million Facebook users worldwide and nearly 200 million located in our largest revenue-generating countries (the United States, the UK and Canada), we saw Facebook as a huge opportunity to take our brand to the next level," explained Krishan Agarwal, the CEO of Melrose Jewelers. 

"Facebook applications are simple, entertaining plug-ins that add a bit of excitement to the typical Facebook session," he continued. Moreover, he and his director of online marketing, Kyle Mitnick, saw Facebook apps as a quick, easy and inexpensive way to increase their fan base and to better engage prospective and existing customers."Because luxury buyers tend to define themselves through their purchases, we believed correlating a comedic persona to one of our Rolex watches via a fun personality test would be a good concept for the app," explained Mitnick. (The app Melrose developed asked Facebook fans to answer a few questions, which then matched them to one of their luxury watches and posted the witty result -- e.g., Apparently, I’m an 18k Rolex Day-Date President because... -- on the fan’s profile.)

Melrose Jewelers on Facebook; mobile commerce, mobile apps
Melrose Jewelers increased sales and grew its customer base using a Facebook app.
(Click for larger image)

Melrose ran the app December 2010, a very busy time for retailers. And the campaign immediately went viral, resulting in a significant number of new fans and customers.

"There was an incredible 220 percent spike in the month of December, elevating the fan base from 11,716 to more than 70,000," stated Agarwal.  "During this time, daily active users increased a staggering 291 percent, boosting brand exposure, product awareness and customer interaction."

Even more impressive, Facebook fans accounted for over $100,000 in sales for the month of December. "The results exceeded our expectations, especially because it was so inexpensive to create and run the app [only $175]," he noted.

While Melrose Jewelers clearly benefited from using a Facebook app, Agarwal and Mitnick point out that a large part of that success was a result of doing their research and timing -- and having realistic expectations when using Facebook for marketing. 

"Business owners must be conscious of the fact that Facebook may not breed trackable sales in the beginning, although it does provides significant credibility to your business," explained Mitnick. But the advantage of using Facebook apps is that if you create and use the right one(s), "you can turn idle Facebook fans into engaged participants and [ultimately] loyal customers…who will become social evangelists of your brand."

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a regular contributor to Small Business Computing and runs a marketing communications firm focused on helping small and mid-sized businesses.

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This article was originally published on April 13, 2011
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