Diana Agop

Have you heard of the Facebook ‘buy’ button?

Scrolling through my Facebook News Feed is a part of my daily routine, and I’m not alone, Facebook has over half a billion users! As well as chatting to friends, uploading pictures and telling everyone what you’re up to, the social network offers businesses an opportunity to advertise their products and services. Following this, Facebook has recently rolled out a new way to sell and shop. It’s giving certain stores an opportunity to sell their products directly through the social network, via the “buy” button. Here’s a speedy low down on this handy call-to-action and what it has to offer.

Online shop

If you’re thinking that the ‘buy’ button will drive customers to a store website, you’d be mistaken, it takes the customer to an online shop on Facebook. This provides a new shopping experience from product search to checkout, so customers can shop without leaving the social network – a great marketing strategy to keep Facebook traffic and impressions high. Facebook have said they won’t be taking a cut of sales, however, they’ll inevitably be steering traffic away from store sites, which will impact the customer relationships with retailers.

Safe and secure

When shopping is on the agenda, it is important for customers to know that any payments are safe and secure. Facebook have assured customers that the ‘shop section’ and the ‘buy’ button are built “with privacy in mind” and customer data will not be shared with other advertisers. In addition, users have the option to save or not to save their payment details for future transactions. Whether users will trust a social network to handle their transactions could be a barrier to Facebook’s ecommerce success.

More to enjoy

Your News Feed will be brimming with status updates, videos, pictures and sponsored advertisements too. The Facebook ads are a useful way for businesses to make their brand visible to a wider audience. And now, the ‘buy’ button is offering even more ways for companies to communicate with customers. This tool aims to increase sales, generate awareness, engage customers and provide customers with more opportunity to connect with brands.

Mobile ecommerce

Smartphone sales have continued to rise this year according to Econsultancy.com, and so it could be a very smart move for Facebook to jump on the ecommerce bandwagon. The ‘buy’ button could reach their 844 million mobile users everyday in order to encourage them to shop on the site. Combining the sponsored adverts with the ‘shop section’ could be a favourable formula. Facebook have tried this ecommerce malarkey before by allowing certain companies to open a store on their site, however these all closed within a year. Apparently, customers preferred to shop on regular sites and so it was wasteful for companies to move forward with this.

Testing

The ‘buy’ button is still in a testing phase at the moment, being used by only a few small and medium-sized businesses in the US. Unsurprisingly, looking on the numerous comments that have been circling the web, the demand for further testing is high. However, Facebook have said that for now, testing “will remain very small”. Therefore we’ll have to wait and see whether this is a worthwhile strategy for Facebook. Who knows we could all soon be saying goodbye to our Saturday shopping trips and hello to Facebook shopping!