We’ve been working on ways to sell products from social media for awhile now and so far it hasn’t been much of a success. There have been a few short-term hits, like buying your friend a cup of Starbucks coffee on Twitter and Facebook’s Buy-a-Gift program. (Can that actually be called a success?)
Now, the top three social networks are trying again:
Facebook’s Call-To-Buy Button
Facebook is testing a new “click to buy” button as a call-to-action option on Facebook ads. Somehow this smart button allows the consumer to buy the item without leaving Facebook. Security worries? Facebook says they have that covered.
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.
Right now, it’s being tested with only a few small to medium sized business in the US.
If it works, it’s the best ROI you’re going to get on a Facebook ad. What could be better than consumers actually buying what you’re selling instantly? But the question remains the same – how many people are going to buy something based on such a small amount of information? Most people want to see more. They want to know about shipping and return policies, etc. I suppose it could work for impulse items or trendy items. If Kim Kardashian shows up to an event wearing a Yeti hat this winter and you sell Yeti hats, that might just work.
Is there a Monopoly-like board game where you’re a social media company and you have to buy up all the smaller companies before your competition does? If not, there should be. (Send the royalty check to me c/o MarketingPilgrim)
Twitter just bought CardSpring. This company specializes in creating a link between digital deals and real world spending. You post an offer for $5 off lunch. I put in my credit card number, then, when I get to the restaurant and use that card to pay it automatically deducts my $5 coupon.
Twitter is hoping CardSpring will be able to create a connection between Tweet-Commerce and the real world. So maybe. . . I retweet a coupon offer and it’s automatically added to my card to use offline? It’s a work in progress.
Pinterest just gave Shopify store owners a boost. Going forward, all pins originating from a Shopify store will be Rich Pins. This means they’ll come with pricing and availability right on the Pin.
To me, this makes more sense than the Facebook Buy button. With Pinterest, consumers see product pins when they’re searching for something they’re interested in (modern sheets), so they’re already headed down the shopping rabbit hole. With Facebook, the buy button is attached to just another ad that’s interrupting my stream of posts from friends.
With Pinterest, the consumer gets most of the vital information but they’re not forced to hand over their credit card information to a social media site. Instead, they’re funneled back to the actual online store where they can not only buy but continue to shop and add more things to the cart.
That’s the other thing I don’t understand about social commerce, it’s always about keeping the consumer on the social site. Sure, less clicks is normally a good thing but not in this case.