Facebook announced late last week that they are testing a new method for people to discover and buy products directly on the platform.
Straight from Facebook:
"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."
Further to the call-to-action button, it also appears that Facebook is integrating payment for a streamlined purchasing experience, all directly within the Facebook ecosystem.
Based on the 47 comments left on the announcement post at the time of writing, response seems to be overwhelmingly positive. Comments do appear to be from small to medium sized business owners, so that's to be expected, but there certainly is reason to be excited at the prospect of this new feature in testing:
A TRULY SOCIAL DIGITAL SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
An exciting prospect about this potential feature is that it will transform the online shopping experience - on Facebook anyway - to mirror the live shopping experience, which for many is best enjoyed with others. Our friends, family members, and in some cases complete strangers can have tremendous influence over our shopping behaviour and purchase decisions, and to date, this might be the closest way for social media to facilitate this shopping experience.
SIMPLIFIED ROI MEASUREMENT
Accurately and confidently measuring the ROI of social media marketing efforts is something that continues to elude many marketers and business owners. The introduction of a transaction model, such as the one Facebook is testing, will make this easier than ever. No need to track pixels, click paths or make hypotheses, simply compare your social media marketing inputs to social media sales, and you'll have an ROI measurement that historically has proven difficult to calculate with accuracy.
TARGETING SHOPPERS WITH FACEBOOK ADS
When thinking about what may be motivating Facebook to test this feature, it seems a pretty safe bet to think that Facebook advertisers will pump some serious budget into promoting their 'Buy' posts amongst their targeted audience. And with the ability to target advertising with the precision that Facebook allows, I would imagine that it will be possible for some to see pretty amazing sales as a result.
Making the assumption that analytics from this new feature would be included in Facebook Insights and downloadable analytics that the platform offers, having ready access to analytics that include social activity integrated with social sales data would be hugely valuable and -ahem - insightful.
Do you hope this feature is introduced for use by all businesses and brands on Facebook?
Would you use this feature for your business?
How do you see this impacting the traditional e-commerce site?
It would be great to hear your thoughts, and chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial