Going on impulse
Users will no longer have to leave the Facebook news feed to buy something that they didn't even know they wanted. The new Facebook Buy Button is the latest effort to bring ecommerce directly to the news feed. The Small Business Trends blog looked at the long difficult history of Facebook ecommerce but also at the appeal of conducting a transaction entirely within Facebook. Inside Facebook explained how the Buy Button will work and Offerpop offered four reasons why they feel it will be a win for marketers,
Overall reaction has been mixed, however. Facebook's side of the equation is great, and users may find the button valuable, but the seller/advertiser could lose the advantages of bringing the user over to their site. Social@Ogilvy pointed out that many large Facebook advertisers (like Coca Cola) don't have products that will sell easily in a newsfeed. More importantly, the Buy Button may not allow for the product research and comparison that precedes many purchases.
Facebook's Nicolas Franchet explained their strategy to Wired. Instead of relying on search queries (Google) or past buying behavior (Amazon), the Buy Button will turn Facebook into a giant recommendation engine, using all of their user and social data to suggest easy, impulse purchases that may be too appealing and easy to pass up. If someone wants to trust Facebook with their credit card, of course.
In any event, newsfeed commerce will likely be a hot topic in the coming months. Twitter has revealed similar intentions through the purchase of CardSpring, a payment infrastructure company that will help Twitter 'to bring in-the-moment commerce experiences to our users'.