Sharoon Thomas is an expert in business information systems. In his career as an ERP consultant, Sharoon has helped retailers of all sizes implement their omni-channel strategy. He is a co-founder and the CEO of Fulfil.IO, a platform which helps internet retailers to manage every aspects of their business. Fulfil.IO is a 500 Startups company (Accelerator Batch 15).
The holiday season is officially in full swing! and there is no better time than the present for internet retailers to use social media and other tech tools to increase sales. At Fulfil.io, we support retailers with our suite of inventory and order management tools, custom built for each business. Another new feature available now is the “Buy” button from Google, Facebook and Pinterest. This post explores the social checkout experience offered by each platform and the impact on retailers, brands, and shoppers.
Google’s Buy Button
Google has been displaying product information on their shopping results pages for the past few years. With the new “Buy” button, customers can now also complete the checkout process without ever having to leave search results. This reduces the friction during checkout and leads to more sale conversions. Payment is made to Google using Google Wallet.
Google’s pricing model is also unique. Retailers only pay for clicks on shopping ads. For those retailers who run ads (on a cost-per-click basis), the “Buy” button experience is free for the retailer. The only extra effort required is sending real time inventory status to Google.
In addition, Google provides purchase protection for customers.
Facebook’s Buy Button
Facebook has been revamping its Pages experience to make it better for businesses and consumers alike. A recent Forrester study found that Facebook is already a top acquisition channel for US retailers, and the “Buy” button now makes Facebook Pages the prime place to discover new products and drive e-commerce activity.
For consumers, being able to shop and pay for products, while enjoying I Haz Cheezburger cat photos on their news feed, is a big step towards reducing friction along the purchase funnel. This is compared to alternatives elsewhere, where shoppers must leave the app and type in their credit card number, shipping, billing and contact information into little text boxes.
Pinterest’s Buyable Pins
Pinterest is arguably a stronger e-commerce platform than Facebook or Twitter, given that the platform is widely used by its users as a visual wishlist. Earlier this year, Pinterest launched a new feature that allowed consumers to make purchases without leaving the platform. Pinterest is also unique in having a shopping category in its search that highlights buyable product pins. The Pinterest iOS app makes payment easy with its Apple Pay support.
A Quick Comparison
The “Buy” button in your holiday checkout strategy
With e-commerce, it all comes down to conversion rates. If the “Buy” button can make a prospective customer checkout faster and shave off steps from the purchase funnel, then adding this feature to your existing sales channels is a no brainer.
For the smaller retailer, the purchase protection and payment wallet offered by big brands like Facebook and Pinterest opens up opportunities to build trust with new customers.
Conversion on Mobile VS Desktop
Research indicates that conversion rates on mobile are less than half of the conversion rates for the same brands on desktop. As Google, Facebook and Pinterest have significant consumer reach and reputation in the mobile space, we expect features like the “Buy” button to significantly shape how brands will build their own mobile e-commerce sites and apps moving forward.
Meeting and Exceeding Customer Expectations
Checkout is the first step of the customer’s shopping experience on your store. The “Buy” buttons make checkout simple and frictionless, and satisfy the expectations of today’s consumers seamlessly. At Fulfil.io, we empower retailers with our suite of customized order and inventory management tools. Our clients can manage orders and sell and track inventory across multiple sales platforms (website, in-store, Amazon, etc), manage shipment orders and more, all in one location.
However you choose to optimize your checkout funnel, take advantage of the available technology to convert casual browsers into paying customers. Good luck this holiday season!