Facebook ‘buy’ button marks ecommerce push

Facebook has joined forces with Shopify to add a ‘Buy’ button for business owners with a Facebook page. While the initiative is still in beta merchants will have to wait for an invitation.

The social media giant is competing with Google’s move into ecommerce, along with Pinterest, which recently announced the launch of ‘Buyable Pins’. Business owners with a Facebook page will be required to pay for advertising on the social media platform.

The buy button allows consumers to easily purchase items they see on their News Feed or on Pages without leaving Facebook. Buying is safe and secure, and consumers can optionally choose to save their payment information with Facebook for future purchases. This makes purchasing easier, especially on mobile. According to Facebook, if the site has the user’s card stored, the checkout will be instant.

This new attempt by Facebook to take a slice of the ecommerce pie follows some unsuccessful attempts such as its gift store and autofill of payment details. It looks as if this latest move is another attempt to develop an ecosystem within its own framework. For those of us old enough to remember the walled garden approaches of the 1990’s it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, manages to win this race.