The call-to-action button appears in users’ feeds, and it will allow the user to shop and purchase directly from Facebook instead of having to click through to the retailer’s website. The elimination of several clicks and having to go to a new website should increase conversions for the businesses, while keeping users longer and more engaged on the Facebook website; a win-win for both.
The new services was test-launched with the aim at helping small and medium-sized businesses improve their ecommerce, something that many have had trouble doing on their own. While the current test is small, this new platform has the potential to greatly help small businesses market and sell their products on Facebook. It also should make it easier for consumers to purchase items they see and want on the website.
With the new system, when the customer sees something they want to purchase, they can click the “Buy”button, which will encourage them to immediately make the purchase without ever leaving the Facebook page. They will be required to give a debit card or credit card for the transaction, and this will be handled by a third-party processor. Facebook won’t be privy to this card information unless the user opts-in to have their credit card information saved on the site for future purchases. The processor will only share information with the company selling the product needed to fulfill the order, such as the customer’s address, but not the credit card information. Facebook announced in a blog post, “We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind.”
The new feature is currently available at no cost to businesses with no plans to monetize it on the merchant end anytime in the near future. The test hopes to determine how those using Facebook react to the call-to-action, and how successful this is at driving sales to these smaller businesses though the ecommerce platform.
One of the benefits of this new strategy for Facebook is that it will keep users on Facebook pages. Since the consumer doesn’t need to leave to another site to make the purchase, they will remain on the Facebook website. The company hopes this new purchase system will help encourage users to stay on the website for longer periods.
(Photo courtesy of Maria Elena)