App Lets Retailers Build Facebook Stores

Demandware ships a prototype application that lets customers build retail stores on Facebook.

Ecommerce vendor Demandware announced Monday that it has released a prototype application for integrating its on-demand store service with Facebook.

Demandware Labs, an "experimental" research center that is working to create applications that take advantage of the company's Demandware Commerce platform, built the prototype, which it dubbed Facebook Shop.

"Social networks are an emerging channel for branded engagement. By leveraging this new channel for commerce, retailers can use Facebook to build a stronger connection between the consumer and the brand," Jamus Driscoll, vice president of marketing for Demandware, said in a company statement.

The premise is that users who seriously like Facebook often want to take part in ecommerce activities based on and around the social networking giant's site. Demandware wants to make that easier, particularly with a solution that works with its own e-commerce platform.

"Using the Facebook Shop application, retailers can easily set up a storefront in Facebook that leverages all of the capabilities of the Demandware Commerce platform. The storefront can be fully customized to meet a retailer's unique brand requirements," the statement said.

Of course, Demandware is not the only vendor -- or even the first -- that provides the capability to have a storefront within a Facebook page and, in order to implement the prototype, customers will need a subscription to Demandware Commerce, which starts at $60,000 for an emerging brand license.

"No matter what third party solution is used, however, core ecommerce data, such as product and inventory information would need to power the storefront. Demandware provides this core data as well as the application to enable a Facebook store," a Demandware spokesperson said in an email to

Among the features enabled in the user's Facebook store by the prototype are inventory availability and product information provided by Demandware Commerce.

Additionally, retailers can change images within Facebook in order to change displays of products and promotions, while consumers can search all product pages, They can also "like" or share products for a more social shopping experience, the company said.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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