Facebook Inc. today announced it is letting a group of Shopify merchants try out its Buy button to see whether consumers are interested in ordering directly from the social network.
The move is the latest evolution of the social network’s Buy button test, which launched with a few small and medium-sized U.S. businesses last July. The button enables the social network’s desktop and mobile users to click the button on ads and posts that appear both in the news feed and on brands’ pages to purchase a product directly from a business without leaving the social network.
Shopify, an e-commerce platform provider that serves six Top 1000 e-retailers, will invite retailers to participate in the test by presenting them with a message offering them the option to add the Buy button to their Facebook posts when they log onto their Shopify account home screen over the next few weeks.
The move is the latest step by Shopify to enable its merchants to sell to consumers off of their sites. Last week, the vendor began enabling customers to produce “buyable” pins that let users purchase a retailer’s products directly on Pinterest.
“We help our merchants connect to their customers, wherever that may be,” says Satish Kanwar, Shopify’s director of product. While Pinterest is an important platform for Shopify merchants, Facebook is the most important social network for driving traffic and sales, he says. Roughly two-thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook and an average of 85% of all orders that stem from social media come from Facebook.
Facebook says having more retailers using the Buy button should help it better understand how consumers respond to the Buy button across different verticals. By running the test with Shopify merchants, the majority of whom are small and medium-sized businesses, the social network also hopes to understand those retailers’ needs.
“The test will help us understand how the feature can drive sales for a wider variety of merchants,” a Facebook spokeswoman says.
Today’s announcement is the latest in a rash of e-commerce-related initiatives across the Internet over the past few weeks. For instance, last week Pinterest introduced “buyable” pins on the same day that Facebook-owned Instagram announced plans to roll out a Buy button. That came on the heels of Google Inc. last month announcing plans to let shoppers buy directly from a Buy button on search ads displayed on smartphones. Twitter, Tumblr and Wanelo have also introduced Buy buttons in recent months.Favorite