Reckitt Benckiser moves into social commerce

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is to sell a new Cillit Bang variant exclusively through Facebook, the first of series of social commerce trials planned as the FMCG giant looks to increase integration of social media into its sales and marketing strategy.

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The FMCG firm is making its first move into the dishwashing category with the launch of Cillit Bang All in 1 Dish & Surface cleaner - a washing up liquid product that comes with an automatic dispenser.

The product will only be available via the Cillit Bang page on Facebook initially ahead of a possible rollout in shops.

RB’s UK marketing director Stefan Gaa says the company is going to step up efforts to integrate social commerce with other marketing and sales channels. This could include making limited edition variants exclusively available through social commerce.

Brands such as Veet and Clearasil, which consumers already have high level of online engagement with, are likely to be the next to adopt social commerce, says Gaa.

Social and f-commerce have been hailed by the likes of Heinz, which has used Facebook as a marketing tool to raise awareness of limited edition products. Brands such as Asos allow customers to buy directly through Facebook.

Retailers such as John Lewis and Reiss, however, have cast doubt on its role as a major commerce channel.

A study by Havas Media Social and Lightspeed Research last year found that 44% of people aren’t convinced about social commerce, while only 11% have actually bought anything so far.

Gaa, however, says that because so many of its customers are spending so much time on social media sites it is important to target effort there.

“RB prides itself on trying new stuff and this Facebook activity is another example of the company trying to push boundaries and try things out. In the end a business is about sales so to make it viable, you need to make sales but the beauty of social commerce is you’re putting commerce into people’s homes and bringing products to an environment consumers are already spending a lot of time.”

“You never know before you do something how it will turn out. The world doesn’t stand still - no one expected mobile phones or text messages to be the mass communication that they are. Our responsibility is to experiment because often in marketing you don’t know, so you just do something and then the next time around you know a bit more.”

To promote the brand extension and drive traffic to the f-commerce site, RB is also bringing back Cillit Bang’s iconic brand character Barry Scott and his “twin” brother Harry to feature in a “significant” marketing campaign including online video content, interactive games and competitions.

Separately, Domino’s is initially offering its new boneless rib snack exclusively through Facebook.

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