Can Slingshot super-power social media for brands?

Regular readers will know I've been a bit of a social media sceptic, especially in terms of the role it can play for most fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands. One of my major issues has been the indirect effect on FMCG sales of social media, in contrast to online brands who can more easily drive online sales.

Well, could a new technology called "Slingshot" start to address this problem?

Slingshot is a snazzy service that allows you to link it to the online shopping basket of your preferred retailers, such as or Ocado. Then, when you see a Slingshot button on a brand's webpage you click, and hey presto, the item is in your shopping basket.

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See below for an example for Stella Artois Cidre. Brand owner InBev claims sales "rocketed" after adding the Slingshot functionality to their facebook page. They say the conversion rate was double what it got from an Amazon page (c. 3-5%).

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Now, we shouldn't get too carried away here, as only c.5% of grocery shopping is done online in the UK according to reports here. And the UK is one of the more developed markets. However, Slingshot could at least be a first step towards social media actually helping SMS (sell more stuff). And some experts forecast that by 2020 online could be 10-12% of the grocery shopping market.

I'm going to have a go with my shopping.

And I'd love to hear from any brands who have tried Slingshot out.