I want those shoes now! The future of the social 'buy now' button

An attractive pair of shoes appears on your Instagram feed. The likes and comments are multiplying. They seem affordable. Moving away from the platform, researching and actually buying the shoes seems like a big deal. You give up. The shoes fade away. The brand loses your business. Or maybe not?
A recent article on The Drum explores how social networks are fast developing new ways to help consumers, like us, to buy products directly from their favourite social platforms. Bad for our pockets but lucrative for brands.
According to research by Microsoft, the average attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds, while humans max out at eight. Making your consumers’ life easier is a must. More and more businesses are looking to invest in ‘buy now’ sociably led marketing. As well as visually led marketing, i.e. Instagram / Pinterest. The simple call to action will enable users to purchase items within their desired app, making shopping as easy as pie. Directing people away to explore their potential purchase, research and being bombarded with more choice, (inevitability time consuming), is something brands are moving further away from.
Psychologically sharing relevant (don’t forget this), rich, visual / video content on your consumers’ timeline, with a call to action at that end, is going to engage with your digital community on a deeper, more personal level. Visuals soften the marketing message. It doesn’t feel like a brand is trying to make you click on a link, spamming you with copy ’20% off buy now’. That’s not talking and resonating with a consumer, it’s shouting.
These developments are a natural progression for social networks. According to research by statists.com over 37.8% of people in the UK have smartphones. That’s a lot of people potentially shopping. Talk to them, ask them what is going to make their life easier, and give it to them. Simple.
The biggest barrier that brands may come across over the next year is ensuring consumers trust that buying directly from a social platform, is not going to breech their data security, that their payment has been received, and they are going to get their dream shoes, on time. If processes are not in place to manage this, launching ‘buy now’ should be avoided. As mentioned above, humans have an eight second attention span. If you make it difficult for them, they aren’t going to trust your brand again.
With social platforms developing in this area, it’s clear how valuable this could be for driving e-commerce sales. With that needs to come better education, a team of strong communicators and a powerful plan. As marketeers, we all need to become more e-commerce savvy as this is going to be an integral part of our development over the next year.
 
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