Pinterest and Instagram have unveiled new ‘Buy’ buttons this week, in a move that will have retailers rubbing their hands with glee. After social media's rapid ascent as communications and advertising platforms, this new functionality which allows users to make instant purchases will finally monetise these channels in a direct way.
Those most likely to benefit from this new feature include fashion retailers, affiliate marketers, food, leisure, entertainment together with other 'impulse purchase' goods and services providers. They can now leverage the power of a compelling post or captivating image to drive direct sales. Social channels already offer highly precise targeting based upon rich analytics and the introduction of click-to-buy functionality has the potential to create a relatively low-cost route to market, although pricing models have yet to be clarified.
Pinterest buyable bins
Pinterest is the home of all things craft, wedding, family, design, art, fashion and more. Brands operating in these spaces will have the opportunity to sell in the click of a button, motivating customers with aspirational imagery, 'how to' guides, blogs and tutorials, and providing instant access to purchase necessary items. In the context of a rich, immersive experience for the customer, this purchasing functionality completes the circle; all within a single social media channel.
Instagram Shop Now button
Home of the selfie, Instagram is full of mouth-watering food images, holidays, fitness and celebrities - offering huge potential gains for brands in this space. Celebrity-endorsed products can reach a follower base of thousands, and the instant 'buy it now' option will facilitate impulse purchasing as never before. The 'click now' button may well be integrated with instant payment technologies such as Realex Payments, allowing consumers to store card and purchasing data in an anonymous secure fashion. This combination of technologies should allow for the completion of a purchase transaction in just a handful of clicks.
Technology: changing the game
Twenty years ago, the industry was struggling to keep up with the developments of card payment processing, and nobody really believed that the internet could really impact upon the high street. Today, the development of social media into a fully integrated direct e-commerce channel, with potentially very low costs and vast targeted reach for retailers, could disrupt traditional retail and e-commerce sales to an unprecedented degree. Will social selling be the industry's next paradigm shift?