Facebook Is Trying To Change How You Shop — But Will It Work?

335modify_finalPhoto: Courtesy of Facebook.
Facebook is attempting (once again) to enter e-commerce, displaying all the persistence of a miscellaneous family member who keeps trying to add you as a “Friend.” Last week, the social network and a handful of smaller businesses began to test a “buy” button that allows users to purchase items without exiting Facebook.
Advertisement
“Selling on Facebook, or F-commerce, was one of the most buzzed-about digital ideas in 2011,” according to Women’s Wear Daily reporter Rachel Strugatz. “But the effort was ultimately seen as a flop after brands failed to gain much commercial traction from the social platform.” Bulgari and Chanel, examples cited by WWD, ended up rerouting customers to their own e-commerce sites — a miscue Facebook hopes to address this time around. Though, Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at eMarketer, doesn’t envision a dramatic change: “Now most ads direct [users] off Facebook," she says. "I think we’ll see a similar pattern with commerce. Brands will want to make it so that a consumer can make a purchase with one click — but on their own Web site, not to Facebook.”
Mark Zuckerberg et al. won’t outline the e-commerce program, yet Todd Huseby, partner in A.T. Kearney’s Digital Business Forum, shares a possible configuration. “If an ad is shared from a friend, then it will appear endorsed,” he says. “And if I can buy from an easy button without any or many other hurdles, then it has a good chance to succeed.”
Influencers also debated the “buy” button in a RetailWire discussion. “Amazon has proven the power of ‘one click,’” points out Chris Petersen, president of Integrated Marketing Solutions. He calls Facebook’s plan “the breakthrough that [it] needs to make e-commerce successful. HOWEVER,” he cautions, “hell hath no fury like a consumer whose credit card data is stolen.” (You'll probably be able to buy T-shirts with that slogan soon — on Facebook, no less.)
Advertisement

More from Shopping

You never want something until you can't have it. So, each week in The Sell-Out, we're getting the scoop from your favorite retailers on what's selling ...
Some trends are easy to dive into head-first: Give us all the athleisure in the world, and we're definitely not complaining. Because no matter how many ...
We first heard about Nike's plans to really, truly make the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future Part II a reality back in March, after the ...
Flex dancing, a dance form characterized by rhythmic waving, gliding, and contorting of the body, is often thought of as a man’s world. But there are a few...
This story was originally published on October 8, 2015. You can expect to see a certain set of characters at every Halloween party. Cher Horowitz is in ...
Kendall Jenner recently admitted that she's always either braless or in a bralette, and she's not the only one. Tons of women (regardless of chest size) ...
Velvet in fall is like florals in spring; we've seen it before, and chances are high that we'll see it again every single year hereafter. That being said, ...
(Paid Content) Classic white Keds have been in my shoe rotation since I was a wee one. As a picky shopper early on, this simple and economical option was ...
Let's face it: When it comes to buying shoes, we (unfortunately) can't purchase the entire store in one go (but if you can and you got that $$$, shoutout ...
The hunt for good-looking, affordable clothing (and accessories) can have you feeling like you're about to rip your hair out. Sure, you might happen across...
Get the skinny on your skivvies, right this way
People travel near and far to shop in New York City. And, why wouldn't they? It's practically the shopping mecca of North America. There are flagship ...
Butts: We all have them, and lately they've become a hot topic of conversation. Here at R29 HQ, we cherish derrieres of all shapes and sizes — and, we're ...
Once tights season rolls around in just a few short weeks, discussions about the quest for the perfect pair (affordable, comfortable, and rip-resistant, ...