Facebook’s Buy Button Announcement

Just in time for the Holiday Season, Facebook announced today that seamless in-app buying is here to stay. As Google recently announced, more than half of worldwide search now happen on mobile, so conversion is obviously going to be the critical next step. While several products have been released for testing before now, Facebook is leading the discovery app buy button revolution from the front with the broader release of its initial products. The goal, Facebook announced in its statement this morning is to “build native experiences that make it easier for both people to discover products on mobile and businesses to drive more sales.” Building off their very popular carousel ad format which dynamically and automatically delivers targeted ads, Facebook is now allowing greater access to a product called Canvas which went into testing in June. Retailers have multiple opportunities to imbed purchasing directly on the Facebook platform via Canvas.

Tackling the well-known friction between discovery apps and purchasing, Facebook stated that, via Canvas, “people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” button in ads in News Feed to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook.” Simple words but revolutionary outcome for users and marketers. Also critical for content creators, Facebook is “adding more ways for Page owners to showcase their products to people, including a recently announced Shop section. Businesses can choose to have this section link to their own retail websites, or they can test a way for people to buy directly on their Pages.”

How have all these products been working? Facebook has been slow to release many numbers but the company obviously sees huge promise (and financial upside) for all parties. Quietly placed within the announcement today was some copy about Neiman Marcus’ success with the carousel product, stating, “Neiman Marcus used the carousel format to drive 3x more conversions and 85% better click-through rates compared to other advertising efforts.” This can only lead us to believe that seamless buy button experiences will build upon these numbers in the future.

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