Last year during July, Facebook had revealed that it is testing a new feature with ‘a few’ small and medium-sized businesses in the US – a Buy button. The goal was to help businesses drive sales directly through Facebook via News Feed ads and Page posts.
Until now Facebook was testing the Buy button feature with select merchants but from now on it is opening up to more retailers on Shopify‘s ecommerce platform. Shopify, which also is a partner in Pinterest’s Buyable Pins that are due later this month, already had several clients using the Facebook Buy button.
With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook. The expanded test is with a set of invited US-based Shopify merchants.
After adding the new Facebook sales channel to the Shopify account, one can start posting products with buy buttons, promoting those posts with paid advertising, managing all the customers and orders that come in from Facebook, and more. Shopify merchants will be able to track Facebook sales alongside analytics on the rest of their performance. Shopify is also taking requests to join the test.
This is a big step from Facebook towards making the Buy button available to a wider audience. While this is a good news for retailers hoping for bigger sale conversions, for Facebook this is a big test that will help the social network understand how the feature can drive sales for a wider variety of merchants.
For now the feature remains free but I doubt if it remains so going forward.
This is another push from Facebook to marry commerce with social networking. Earlier Facebook tried introducing features like Collections feature with buy buttons, on-site payments to charities with its Donate Button and the most recent being the testing of an “Auto-Fill With Facebook” feature that automatically enters your payment details when you’re making a purchase in a third-party eCommerce app.
Facebook’s push towards Buy button is a rational one; Pinterest and Google are also working on the same lines of in-line transactions on the platform itself.