Cutting out the middle man
Buy buttons are invading the internet. In case it isn’t obvious, a buy button is a digital button on a website or mobile app that allows a user to instantly purchase a product.
Buy buttons on social media can be a boon for small businesses that don’t have the capital or tech power to create their own mobile shopping app. Buy buttons are available on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. This summer Google started putting buy buttons on select search ads, and YouTube added buy buttons this fall.
Expectations of increased revenue
Putting buy buttons on social media sites seems like a no-brainer. Consumers are already checking their social media sites daily, and are often using the platforms to learn more about products. So why not make it easy for them to purchase directly from the social media site? After all, it can only lead to higher revenues for businesses. In a survey by Boston Retail Partners, 34 percent of North American retailers expected to see an increase in revenue because of adding buy buttons to their social media pages.
Buy buttons also provide a way for sites to prove that their ads are generating new sales, thus increasing the value of ads on the site.
Millennials largely aren’t interested
Then again, consumers aren’t particularly excited about buy buttons on social media. A GlobalWebIndex study of social media users found that only 17 percent of Tumblr users were interested in using buy buttons on the site – and that was the highest percentage of any site, with only 9 percent of Facebook users excited to use buy buttons. Another study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth reported that only 35 percent of millennials said they were likely to use buy buttons on Facebook, and only 24 percent would use buy buttons on Twitter.
Nonetheless, retailers are optimistic that, given time, users will get used to, and start using buy buttons. Michael Yamartino, head of commerce at Pinterest, told Time magazine that “it’ll just take a little bit of time for people to get accustomed to this new method of buying.”