November 25, 2011 2:51 pm
by Paul Crowe
Shoppers Drug Mart offers custom gift recommendations with Facebook Connect. Or do they?
This morning I came across an article in Marketing Magazine talking about how Shoppers Drug Mart has launched a new website using Facebook Connect to help shoppers discover the the right gifts for their friends.
Sounds interesting right? I thought so.
Upon landing on the website I clicked on Facebook Connect and began selecting friends. I was excited to see incredibly insightful product recommendations and rationale provided by pulling in all of the power of Facebook.
What I found was an experience that was both disappointing and pointless. I had a feeling this was going to happen the second I saw the permissions they were requesting. They definitely weren’t the permissions I was expecting, or the ones they needed to deliver a strong product recommendation. Based on my experience I believe they are looking at age and gender and recommending products based on those two criteria. If there is additional criteria I’d be surprised as you sure can’t tell from the results.
Here is why this experience is pointless:
1) It would have been faster and taken less clicks for me to select gender and age from a few drop-downs and simply sort their entire site that way.
2) I took the time to connect and was delivered no value. Now I’m unhappy and blogging about it. Don’t promise me “Shoppers gift ideas based on information made public in that friend’s Facebook profile” if you aren’t going to deliver it.
I entered two different people. My brothers girlfriend and Alkarim Nasser (founder of BNOTIONS) and received three of the exact same product request AND 100% of the recommended products made no sense.
What would have made this experience better?
Well, simply by looking at the content he shares, pages liked, activities and interests they could have delivered a lot better recommendations and they could have told me why they were recommending it. Lets look at Alkarim.
On Facebook he likes Future Shop, Sony & HomeSense. Shoppers Drug Mart sells all of these Gift Cards but did they recommend them? No.
He also likes both PlayStation and XBOX. Both products are sold at Shoppers. Did those products show-up top of the list or even in the first 50? No.
I’m all for brands trying new things and incorporating Facebook into their world, but I still believe that if you are going to do it and promise your customer something that you should deliver on that promise and add value to their experience.