‘Tis Not The Season For Social Media ‘Buy’ Buttons


The 2000s were defined by millions upon millions of Americans jumping on board social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and more. So far, the 2010s have been defined by retailers’ inabilities to convert these user bases into active shoppers.

Look no further than the slow burn of buy buttons on major social networks this holiday shopping season, Re/code reported. Despite active buy button initiatives at Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, some of which have been ongoing for more than a calendar year, shoppers are not routing even a significant fraction of their purchases through these social commerce channels. In fact, Re/code reported that Pinterest is seeing fewer than 10 purchases per day through its “Buyable Pins” feature. A Pinterest spokesman told Re/code that though sales may be slow to nonexistent at the moment, there are achievements to celebrate with the buy button experiment.

“Although it’s still early days with the program, we are hearing from merchants that many of their customers coming through Buyable Pins are new and we are driving higher mobile conversions,” the spokesman said in an email.

While some of the biggest names in social commerce can’t seem to find traction with buy buttons, it might actually be the niche brands that see more sales in the short term. Jason Goldberg, senior vice president of commerce and content at Razorfish, told AdAge that the concept of buy buttons is still so new to the average consumer that only those shoppers performing deep dives in search of unique items from familiar retailers would drive any sales at all.

“Only a few retailers that have specific merchandise are going to be able to squeeze it in,” Goldberg told AdAge. “Right now, retailers have to go buy the tool and figure out how to use it. By next holiday they will already have the tool and know how to use it and will be making a strategic decision on which products to sell on which networks.”



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