Imagine this scenario: you visit your nearest superstore (Walmart, Costco, etc.) with a couple of friends. You browse the isles, chat about your day at work, and of course buy way more than you intended to. Good news, you can do this without having to leave the house! Facebook is in the process of implementing a “buy” button underneath all of those wonderful ads that appear on your news feed. Instead of all of those “like” buttons you hit, Facebook will have your credit card and shipping information so that you can start clicking “buy.”
What makes Facebook’s feature different from Amazon.com is the one thing that Facebook possesses that Amazon does not: direct and live human interaction. Instead of posting that you bought those new shoes or latest Tek toy on Facebook from your Amazon account, your shopping experience will be all-inclusive. According to insidefacebook.com, “the flow of purchasing is quite simple. After clicking Buy, users are shown a higher-quality image of the product in an overlay. If they choose to check out, there are just three more screens to go through: shipping information, payment information, check out.” Essentially, clicking the “buy” button will not automatically run your credit card, but will ask for your card information after clicking, while also asking if you wish to save that credit card information to make later “buy” clicks more efficient. Although this sounds appealing, a couple of things need to be considered: Do we trust Facebook with this much of our personal information? Also, will this mean more advertisements shown on our news feed?
On the plus side, Facebook’s departments will not be full of powerhouse stores like Target and Walmart. Instead, your neighborhood grocer will be selling milk and eggs in the refrigerated isle and the new boutique down the street will be on isle 5. Of course, when consumers hear “local small and medium businesses” they are quick to support the cause. However, how long will it be until larger companies and retailers get a piece of the Facebook advertising pie?
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