That’s right – you may soon be seeing a Buy Now button on Facebook posts and ads!
Facebook has made a few attempts over the years to break into the e-commerce game; these strategies have commonly been referred to as ‘f-commerce’. That stands for Facebook commerce :-).
With Facebook always looking for new ways to monetize their traffic, as well as for strategies to keep users on the site longer, providing the opportunity to buy right from within the site is something they are not likely to give up on any time soon.
Just this past week, Facebook announced that they are going to be testing out a new f-commerce strategy: the on-site ‘Buy Now’ button.
This feature would allow businesses to add the button to posts and ads, meaning customers could make purchases right from within Facebook.
Currently, only a few small to medium sized businesses are able to access the button. Facebook tells us they will be collecting feedback from these test cases and will be sharing results based on their findings.
Are There Any Privacy Issues or Concerns?
One concern that has been raised about the concept of social selling in general is that of the privacy and protection of payment information. Users are obviously concerned about issues related to handing over credit or debit card information, however Facebook has made it clear they have taken steps to safeguard personal info:
“We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure. None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.”
How Would This Help YOU, as a Business Owner?
It will be interesting to see how Facebook’s initial testing of the button goes. Should they decide to release this option across the board, it opens up a whole new world to business owners on Facebook.
Currently, businesses need to send users to their website to purchase products; and the obvious problem with this is that every extra step a user makes is one more chance to potentially fall out of your sales funnel. For instance, what if your site takes an extra 5 seconds to load? You risk losing out on a sale due to a small technical glitch.
But if you can attract a customer, move them through the purchase process, AND complete the sale ALL from within Facebook, you have few risks in terms of losing a customer along the way.
Here’s what I mean: Typically, a simple purchase funnel may look like this:
Facebook ad >>> Landing page on website >>> Sale
Many business owners also include email* in this process; for instance, making the goal of their landing page to capture a visitor’s email, and eventually making the sale through email.
Using the new Buy Now button, however, would streamline the purchase process significantly, eliminating the need to send users to your website at all. This will reduce the risk of losing customers mid-process, and ultimately should result in increased completed sales.
*It’s unclear at this point whether businesses would be able to capture the emails of customers who buy using the button, so this will an interesting factor to keep an eye on.
What Will This Feature Cost Me?
As the Buy Now button is still in early days, Facebook hasn’t yet indicated if or how much it will cost business owners to use. It seems clear however, that Facebook would take a cut of the sale; or at the least, charge a flat fee for the use of the button.
When Tech Crunch asked Facebook whether they would eventually be charging businesses to use the feature, their response was that “it was not disqualifying that option”.
I’ll be sure to keep you posted as new info emerges.
I’m very curious to hear from any business owners who have access to this button. If this feature is showing up for you, please leave a comment below!