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Facebook tests a new buy button

Facebook tests a new buy button
Monday July 21 2014

The social media platform discreetly announced it is testing “a new way for people to discover and buy products on Facebook.

Facebook has just announced a new feature to help businesses drive sales through the news feed or on pages, which it is currently testing with a few small to medium-sized businesses in the US.

The feature allows people on desktop or mobile to click the ‘Buy’ call-to-action button on ads and page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook.

“We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure,” said the announcement, which also assured that none of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction would be shared with other advertisers. 

Facebook also said that people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.

Is the world ready?

Andy Farmer, experience strategy director at digital agency ORM London, suspects that Facebook may feel the market is now ready for a more overt e-commerce offer. “With the increasing success of specialist social commerce networks in fashion and retail such as Etsy, Lyst and Wanelo, plus the high traffic of own brand networks such as Asos Fashion Finder, it probably feels that now is the time to grab some market share."

Farmer feels that that the ‘traditional’ social networks provide a great way to communicate with customers, but aren’t necessarily great platforms for selling as they weren’t envisaged and bought into that way by their communities. 

“I can see the “buy button” as great way of increasing loyalty and interaction with a brand’s fans. It will deliver specific value-add offers, products and services in an engaging and easy to manage way (much like how it’s being used with [marketing platform] Chirpify). 

“However, I don’t think it’s going to immediately turn Facebook into an e-commerce player – at least not immediately. As most people still visit to play and interact with friends, they are simply not in the mindset for a full-blown shopping experience.”

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