Feb 23 Update on Social Media ‘Buy Buttons’
It has been awhile since we have heard much about ‘buy buttons’, even though almost all of the social channels have their own version. Buy buttons started coming on to the scene in 2014 in response to marketers trying to better tie social media interactions to purchases. To be honest, they haven’t really taken off due to a variety of reasons which we will dive in to deeper in this post.
User Interest & Mindset on Social
User’s interests have remained low when it comes to buy buttons on social channels. A study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found that only 35% of millennials were likely to use buy buttons on Facebook and only 24% were likely to use buy buttons on Twitter. Without interest and support by this key, socially savvy group, buy buttons will continue to struggle.
The second part of user interest has to do with their mindset when they are on social media. Social media is really good at helping people discover and research products. It is also great for gathering inputs and peer reviews on products or services; however, those actions haven’t translated into sales on the platform.
Buy Button User Experience
The user experience of buy buttons hasn’t helped their case. It can be a clunky experience for the person to complete a purchase. The merchant has to stay on top of their inventory to make sure the product is in stock and be able to address customer service issues on their social channels. Another issue in the user experience is trust. I think many people are skeptical of the security of inputting their payment information on social media. Significant investments will need to be made by the social networks to improve the user experience.
Future of Buy Buttons
Given the low adoption of buy buttons thus far, it will be interesting to see which networks decide to continue to support them. Twitter is the first network to abandon buy buttons. The platform announced in early January that buy buttons will be phased out. They instead will be focusing their efforts on driving website conversions for marketers instead of purchase actions on the platform. However, Twitter will continue to support the ‘Donate’ button.
We will keep a close eye on the direction other social networks take on buy buttons.