Facebook really loves you. It’s love has transcended words to never letting you leave. It’s newest feature aims to keep users inside its ecosystem with an expansion of the buy button program.
The idea behind the pilot program is still in its infancy, but it would offer the user a similar experience of buying products from a store’s Facebook page as a company’s independent website. Facebook’s social commerce expansion comes with the help of Shopify, which helps merchants set up ads and posts with the social buy button.
Facebook offering the page-as-a-shop experience would change the e-commerce landscape significantly. At first, it would be consumers and businesses having a tighter relationship. You never have to leave Facebook and can keep bashing your head against the keyboard over incessant memes while shopping.
It takes traditional window shopping, keeps the passive aggressive nature of it, and throws it in your home. Thanks, Facebook. You shouldn’t have. But, I’ll take that shirt… And that TV…
Before you rush to take your local shop global on Facebook, the program is not open. Buzzfeed reports it is still in its testing phase. A few unnamed sites already have the features running, with more expected as 2015 marches on.
While a relatively new vertical, the industry is pulling in serious revenue. Data from eMarketer reports the industry is expecting $350 billion in revenue by year’s end. There is overlap as social commerce often bleeds into e-commerce.
The news of Facebook further integrating buy buttons, and shop-like pages come amid other reports it is developing a digital assistant, Moneypenny. Let the Bond jokes fly people…
The assistant would help Facebook users research and buy products.
All of this sounds great, but businesses would be wise to assert as much control over their business as possible. 2015 has been dubbed the year of distributed content, but why do I get the feeling the walls are being built behind everyone? Your content is everywhere, and now it’s behind a wall. Oops…
Take Facebook reach. By any measurement, it has declined precipitously. Those fans you worked hard to reach organically? Pay up to access them. Would a Facebook shopping page be any different? Sure, Facebook wants the tight ecosystem, but Wall Street estimates have to be met.
The carrot of a seamless business-customer relationship will be replaced by the stick of your advertising budget being demanded to keep it.
Having buy buttons on ads and pages is great, and has been shown to work for both sides. The shop-like pages pique my interest from a UX standpoint. It will just come down to how Facebook uses the data from the users, and the type of reach a business gets from the new feature.