Keeping up with 2016: the Curious Case of Buy Buttons – Social Commerce

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Facebook is free, and it always will be.  That’s what it still says on the top of the sign up form. Technically it’s still free and fantastic. But there’s a chance that a user might shell out money while on it.


If you ask how, then let’s take you through the curious case of buy buttons.

And mind us, it’s not just Facebook. It’s every popular social media site -Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube, you name it and they have it. Buy buttons have been gaining prominence throughout 2015. There was a flurry of experimentations. ‘Buyable Buttons’ was launched by Pinterest, the same month that Instagram released its similar ‘shop now’ feature. Facebook and Twitter were on tow with their ongoing tests for buttons with similar functionality

The expected response to this rush was not met though, according to Custora, social channels accounted for only 1.8% of the overall sales. But these buy buttons are staying there ground, and tech giants and businesses are still pretty optimistic about them, and feel that 2016 will be different.

So what’s the catch? And why should you as a marketer be interested in these? Let’s find out

Catching them in the act – Tapping into the micro-moments

People lead parallel lives now. One that is real, the other virtual; and these lives seemingly coexist and overlap. For eg. Shopify reported as many as 93% of Pinterests users plan their purchases with the platform.  So why wait for them to remember your product from their pinterest feed and buy it in a mall or e-commerce site? Why not give them the option to buy it then and there.

Picture2I don’t care, I love it – Impulse Buying

Earlier Impulse buying was only possible when someone is actually shopping for something else and happens to like something they feel they must own. Now, impulse buying can be triggered anywhere. People are ogling at pretty pictures of lifestyle products and clothing all day on several social media platforms, some even share them with statuses like


A buy button is exactly the push that these consumers need to complete their journey


Hello, Hi, Let’s make a buy – the shift from Social to Commercial

 Both the above points point to a single thing. Even with your social media marketing, with pictures and product descriptions and witty little anecdotes aligned to your brand. There is a gap, when it comes to influencing the ultimate step in the consumer journey; that is, buying. A buy button fills that exact need gap. Moreover social media is the perfect place where people have influencers to push their decisions, be it their best friend, spouse or their favourite football hero, all they need, thus making it an optimal ground for buying stuff.

One of the impediments to the adoption or success of buy buttons is coming not from the customer side, but from the merchant side, says Cristina Cordova, head of business development at payment solutions company Stripe.

It cannot be more aptly put. Buy buttons can only help after the decision is made, but how do you propel the buying decision, of course with big data and analytics. It’s all about being at the right place, at the right time. A special call out to all those small scale retailers who do not have a functional e-commerce app yet, these social media sites are now ready made market spaces for you to dig in.

We at Capital Numbers are always on the look out for latest trends that can help best meet your branding goals through social media and other digital marketing channels. To know more, visit


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