Topshop is promoting products on Facebook to drive traffic to its web site in the latest sign of the growing importance of social networking sites to retailers.

Consumers can add Topshop’s Fashion Fix application to their profile page on the social networking platform, to view Topshop’s latest clothing and footwear. The function allows shoppers to click through to the product’s link on the retailer’s transactional web site.

Users can vote on items they like and e-mail product details to their friends through Facebook’s messaging system.

According to e-tail traffic monitor Hitwise, Facebook ranks fifth in the UK for delivering web traffic to apparel sites.

Hitwise research director Robin Goad said: “Topshop gets 3.8 per cent of its web site traffic from Facebook and this could easily double, or even increase to 10 per cent, within a month.”

Topshop is encouraging consumers to sign up to the Fashion Fix application with an online game that offers the chance to win prizes including a year’s supply of shoes, as well as vouchers and 10 per cent discounts for

Goad added that Facebook is particularly good at delivering new visitors to retailers’ web sites. Facebook users set up groups, such as The Primark Appreciation Society, to highlight their favourite retailers and products.

Topshop’s tool had 205 daily users and about 1,000 people signed up before the retailer officially confirmed its launch this week.

Separately, Fat Face has launched a competition on Facebook with a tool that allows users to send their friends virtual gifts. Each day, one recipient of a virtual gift wins the actual product. Users can also click on products to transfer to Fat Face’s web site.

Other retailers are working on similar applications to harness the power of Facebook, which has more than 7 million active users in the UK.