Last Week’s “Buy Now” Buzz
You may or may not have heard the recent buzz about the sighting of a “Buy Now” button on Twitter. Mashable’s Kurt Wagner reports, “A new ‘Buy Now’ button appeared on multiple tweets Monday, all of which included products that link back to a shopping site called Fancy.”
For those who haven’t used Fancy before, it is a social e-commerce platform that allows users to “fancy” an item or buy the item outright. Some tech pundits predict a wide release of the functionality to retailers beyond Fancy, but I assume rollout would be slow and steady. Hopefully, for small business’ sake, webstore platforms like Magento and Shopify will be integrated. I’d like to talk a bit about what “Buy Now” might mean for you, me, and the rest of the small business community.
Setting the Table
I absolutely love when the web levels the playing field. Everyone at Red Caffeine hears me rave about Shopify’s platform (and other things like it) for its enablement of small business owners. Shopify in particular delivers an equally awesome opportunity for technical and fairly non-technical folks. The admin panel is super simple and has all the controls you need to change product data and other content quickly. Developers can take it even further, but the point is that just about anyone can now launch a gorgeous, functional, and secure webstore. While brick and mortar used to be your best option, today it’s both different and better with webstores. Still, the “Buy Now” button can take this opportunity a step further.
Why We Want the “Buy Now” Button
Today, your webstore is not enough. While a great website is critical to communicating your offering as well as converting leads to sales, you still need marketing channels that go beyond this scope. Simply building it doesn’t guarantee meaningful ROI. Traffic drivers are critical online, and while many have successfully leveraged social media, there is still the big challenge of converting followers to customers. “Buy Now” could potentially change this by eliminating a step in the user’s path from social ad to shopping cart.
With this button, we could create highly targeted, product-specific campaigns and convert on the spot. At the same time we can gather data around this new dimension of conversion. Split testing “Buy Now” campaigns will allow us all to really hone our message on Twitter.
Equally important is the user experience, and with “Buy Now” you get a convenient and pleasantly passive sales channel. The button really is subtle for the user. It’s not an overly forward sales call, it’s not a large banner, and it won’t ruin the minutes (or hours) users spend on Twitter.
To me the “Buy Now” button is a win-win. Twitter can further monetize their ad platform by adding the feature, while small businesses can benefit from new data and sales. Bring it, Twitter.