Page management platform developer Vitrue recently announced a partnership with ecommerce app developer Milyoni. The alliance will bring improved shopping and Facebook Credits payment functionality to Page tabs apps available in Vitrue’s app suite.
The partnership continues the growing trend of consolidation between the Page management and ecommerce spaces as brands demand ways to drive direct return on their social media investment. Below, Vitrue CEO Reggie Bradford tells us why the partnership primes his company to sign the next wave of brands joining Facebook.
Over the last few years, brands have concentrated on gaining Likes, but now they’re looking to monetize these fans. This has increased demand for ecommerce apps that permit fans to make purchases without the added friction of being directed away from Facebook to a traditional company website.
Page management companies, previously more focused on publishing, engagement apps, and analytics are now looking for ecommerce partnership and acquisition targets, in lieu of trying to build things they’re less familiar with.
Milyoni is a strong choice for Vitrue, as the San Francisco-based ecommerce developer has been behind some highly innovative Facebook commerce campaigns this year. It powered the movie rental app used by Warner Bros to sell temporary access to The Dark Knight, Inception and other films in exchange for Facebook Credits. It also allowed the Austin City Limits music festival to charge users Credits to stream pay-per-view concerts.
Milyoni raised a $3 million Series A round from ATA ventures and Thomvest Ventures in May to improve its social commerce products. The company has over 50 brands representing over 60 million fans, including the NBA, the clothing label French Connection, and beverage brand Guayaki.
The partnership will strengthen Vitrue’s offering allowing it to attract clients. Vitrue CEO Reggie Bradford tells us Milyoni’s technology will enable it to offer social shopping tab apps such as “flash sales and group discounts” as well as a “full shopping experience within Facebook.” Milyoni will gain distribution to a large set of clients, including some of the world’s biggest brands such as AT&T, Ford, Proctor & Gamble, and McDonalds.
Vitrue has been a major driver of consolidation recently, in part thanks to a $17 million funding round closed in May which helped provide money for acquisitions and partnerships. It bought GamesThatGive so its client Pages can offering games where user’s earn money for charity through their engagement. Last year it partnered with Ads API tool and service provider TBG Digital, sharing clients looking for each other’s advertising or Page management solutions.
Bradford tells us that in the coming year, “you’re going to see substantial consolidation”. He believes this will be centered around Page management companies “as their relationship with brands becomes a key component of a brand or agency’s plan to manage social. Once you have the Page management relationship, you can roll out new features such as commerce, games, Sponsored Stories” by partnering with or acquiring those that develop them.
Virtue’s goal now is to grow through consolidation to offer a “turnkey solution”. Bradford predicts that “every major brand is going to be using one of these platforms by 2012. Those platforms in the lead now are going to have 100s and 1000s more marketers using their platform.” The partnership with Miyoni for ecommerce is a strong step in this direction.