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Sep 12, 2011 | 2 minute read

Facebook Commerce: Do Facebook Likes Matter? [Research]

written by Linda Bustos

Ever wonder if anyone cares about those little Facebook Likes? Do they drive traffic? Why do people click Like? Do Facebookers appreciate social recommendations? 8thBridge wondered and conducted a survey to find out. Here's what they found:

What: Interestingly, a customer who owns a product is more likely to "Like" a product than one that just thinks its cool, or who wants to buy it someday. The "Like" button is an easy way to evangelize a product without writing a product review. Further, it's social - the recommendation is shared with friends, rather than strangers.

Why this is cool: I've always recommended asking customers for product reviews through triggered emails. Why not add a "Like this" call to action in the email? There's a good chance your customer is a Facebooker, and you may get some positive action out of those who don't want to put in the effort of a thorough product review.

What: More than 1 in 3 visitors would be more likely to buy a product that has a high number of Likes.

Why this is cool: Social proof is influential. This isn't just about Facebook Likes, folks. It reinforces the importance of reviews, testimonials and other forms of social credit. They are a product-level value proposition. Work on building your social proof!

What: About 1/4 of Facebookers have shared product Likes with their friends.

Why this is cool: True product evangelists are never the majority, but they are a vocal minority. What if 80% of your customers were Facebookers, and 25% of them evangelized your products?

Further, 19% of poll respondents asked for product recommendations on Facebook and 16% of poll respondents said that they were driven to make a purchase based on a Facebook recommendation.

Not to mention, social sharing can help your SEO. Yay!

But on the flipside, social sharing widgets can slow down your page, which impacts ranking and can increase bounce rate. Booooo. What's a girl to do?

The Web Performance Today blog suggests 2 things:

1. Defer widgets so they’re one of the last page objects to load.
This is a great optimization technique because the button is a piece of third-party code that can slow down a page, and it’s not crucial to how a page functions.

2. Perform a cost-benefit analysis for each widget.
You need to make sure that the conversion gains (or whatever gains you’re anticipating) promised by the widget are not going to be killed by the performance losses it forces on you. Here’s a simple how-to for conducting this analysis. You should also check out Steve Souders’s P3PC project, which provides load times for a handful of common third-party tools.

Thank you to 8thBridge for sharing their data with us. You can check out the entire research report Social Commerce IQ: Retail free from 8thBridge.

Looking for help with ecommerce? Contact the Elastic Path consulting team at to learn how our ecommerce strategy and conversion optimization services can improve your business results.