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Facebook extends Buy button beta test to other businesses


Social networking platform Facebook, which had started testing a buy button for Shopify last month, will extend this feature to various business’ Facebook pages, reports Mashable. The feature is currently being tested with a few retailers, ecommerce companies and a small user base.

The new feature will let retailers sell items directly through their business page, turning it into a  partial ecommerce store. The buy feature will be visible to users even on mobile, where it will appear as a ‘shopping’ section on a separate tab along with other the options like timeline, about, photos etc.

Items put up for sale by retailers are visible in this shopping section, in a similar format to the way photos are laid out. The checkout for these products can be configured by the businesses to either pay from within Facebook or through their own website. As of now, Facebook has provided no timeline as to when the feature will be available to all merchants internationally and has declined to name currently participating businesses.

MediaNama’s take:

The number of Internet companies and social networks that are adding buy buttons on their pages has significant implications for online advertising. These buy buttons have the potential to fuel a lot more impulsive purchases and with the option of storing payment details, purchases can be made in fewer clicks than before. Companies can no longer rely just on banner ads for purchase conversions as every additional step or click required causes users to drop off.

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With respect to discovery, especially in Google searches, the buy buttons shifts user behaviour from a serendipitous discovery of products on a consumer ecommerce site, to intent based purchases. On social networks, recommendations to buy could be based on social graph and what your friends bought.

Other buy buttons:

– Search giant Google had said in May, that it was looking to add a buy button on its search results pages for products on mobile devices. The button would appear next to sponsored or paid search results, which are usually on the top of the page, and would be displayed under “Shop on Google”. As of now, the feature is being tested with a few retailers, and will be made available internationally by 2016.

– The same month, YouTube said that it would add buy buttons to TrueView ads, where users could click to buy stuff after being redirected to that product page. This feature would be rolled out over desktops and mobiles in the coming months.

– Last month, social bookmarking website Pinterest unveiled a way to buy items on the website through what it calls “Buyable Pins” marking its foray into ecommerce. Pinterest, on its blog, said that the feature would be available in the US and users could pay for items through Apple Pay or a credit card. The company said that it would not store card details of users and had signed up with Stripe, an e-commerce start-up that focuses on small and midsize online businesses to handle payments. Pinterest said that it had teamed up with major retailers like Cole Haan, Ethan Allen, Kate Spade and Macy’s.

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