A Buzzfeed report has today (16 July) confirmed that Facebook is indeed testing a new Ecommerce platform built directly in to the primary site. Emma Rodgers, Facebook’s product marketing manager, told BuzzFeed the upcoming feature, which is being tested with select businesses, will give merchants the opportunity “to showcase their products directly on the page” and allow users to purchase them there and then via ‘buy’ buttons, without ever having to leave the main page.
‘Buy’ buttons are the logical next step for Facebook, and demonstrate that they are evolving to keep up with the trend of monetising Social Media. The report comes in the wake of Pinterest’s announcement to introduce buyable pins into their existing platform, allowing customers to cut out the middle step between interest and purchase, and allowing businesses to capitalise on impulse and convenience purchases.
Facebook’s expansion into Ecommerce is also great news for the advertisers from which Facebook gathers the lion’s share of their revenue. More time spent on the Facebook site means greater user exposure to conventional advertising, which in turn means a higher return from advertisers investment and increased revenue for Facebook.
Cynics would argue that the inclusion of an Ecommerce strategy into Facebook would alienate some users, but judging by the way the market is moving, the inclusion of a one-step purchase platform into Facebook could be nothing but a good thing. It is certainly indicative of the customer desire for easy purchases made quickly, on multiple devices in a manner and place to suit them.