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Facebook Tests Buy Button : A Boon for eMerchants

calender 18 Aug 2014

“Facebook is all set to allow users buying a product directly from their Facebook timeline, without getting to leave the home page. The latest Buy Button feature that the social media giant has unleashed, comes with an array of other features.”

Facebook tests it “Buy Button” allowing businesses engaged in eCommerce to publish page posts or ads, letting people purchase stuffs from the merchant without leaving Facebook. The feature is still very much "beta" and was implemented for a handful of small and medium sized business in US.

Retail and wholesale marketers can specifically brew advantages from this feature as it will make the task of luring their target group as well as pushing them buy their product or service an easy breather. Brian Michael Murch, vice president of engagement at Relevvant, a market research company of San Francisco commented, "This extends well beyond large-scale retailers who will at one point have to jump on the bandwagon once adoption numbers increase. This commerce ability will impact more areas of capitalism not even yet conceived.”

The feature is anticipated to be further more beneficial for retailers or wholesalers as it is more likely for them to get a huge number of returning visitors and buyers. And where we all know Facebook has it's own share of being a genuine product/service/seller review as well "friends' recommendation" platform; this new feature can be expected to be the next level of peer endorsement. This will further turn customers into brand advocates for the merchants.

This idea of "Buy Button" is certainly unique in its own scale; however, Facebook is not new in the eCommerce genre. It has already made several forays into this sphere including - Pinterest-style "Collections" feature with buy buttons, the "Donate Button" to help charities etc. The most recent one was its "Auto-Fill with Facebook" feature where users could save their payment details while making a purchase on third party eCommerce apps.

But the most popular one was "Gifts", where it sells gift cards for businesses like Starbucks , iTunes and more. However, Facebook is about to lay it off on August 12th to shift its focus on its "Buy" feature. According to the official statement they published, “We’ll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook.”

As discussed earlier, Facebook was in a regular practice to try its hands on eCommerce; and with the Buy Button they are expected to infiltrate in the domain in a far better and stronger way than ever. Though the feature is revenue free as of now, but Facebook is "not disqualifying that option" of taking an earnings' share from businesses. And as long as sellers are benefited with higher number of sales, they should not mind giving Facebook its cut. But all these are far off thoughts as of now, as the feature is still under testing.

Nevertheless, experts see this as a huge step by the social media giant and believe that the platform has the potential to put together a solid eCommerce offering. However the only constraint they are anticipating is how comfortable would an end-user be to share their credit card details with Facebook. However, Facebook said that the feature is privacy safe and won't be passing users details to other advertisers.  

Whether or not this new venture will be a hit or fail once rolled out in full-fledged manner, but these steps that Facebook is taking up to shave off the purchase funnel, is actually working on erasing the line between an eCommerce site and a social platform. These ventures are actually allowing other social platforms to think more than the regular, and this can be established by the fact that Twitter also has surfaced a "Buy Button" on its mobile app to try hosting eCommerce transactions. 

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