If you browse on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, there’s a button you will soon see appearing alongside sponsored ads: The “BUY” button.
The purpose is to keep browsing buyers contained within the respective platform that they are browsing in. The social media powerhouses might argue that it’s to help enrich the buying experience so that users don’t have to navigate across multiple platforms to buy something they like. Sceptics might argue it gives the social media platforms more ability to harness user data for more profiteering and help quantify a Return-On-Investment figure to harness more paying advertisers.
Twitter announced the move back in September last year and claims the experience is expected to be rewarding for consumers and “fun”. Hmm. Pinterest, however, is an interesting proposition. A very viewable and addictive platform, it is introducing the “buy” Pin, and the initial suggestion is that Pinterest will not be taking a fee for any transactions. Instagram are delving in to the e-commerce foray as well, building on all the app development over the past 18 months. For Facebook the opportunity might lie in the “have now” rush that can get consumers impulse buying. Buyers usually make considered purchases, but limited availability usually associated with the likes of Black Friday may become more of the norm on a daily basis. Google refers to the “friction” across platforms that may scupper purchases and want customers to be able to transact quickly and easily.
However the biggest players term the development, social media commerce is coming. Whether this spells the death of the traditional web-based commerce journey remains to be seen. We’ve become so accustomed to “shopping around” online that some of us may not trust that the best price is being given to us through our social media platforms. And how are the platforms going to cope with consumers who like to buy multiple items at once from multiple vendors, say like through the Amazon marketplace? Those challenges will surely be wrinkled out and social media commerce will begin to take more share of both high street commerce and traditional online commerce.
Author: Tom Jullings
I work with clients to improve the digital marketing experience they present to their customers – from web design and SEO to outreach marketing and social media.
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