Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc have teased that 2015 might be the year that social commerce will kick off. However, Jason Del Rey of Re/Code reports that both firms have been found wanting in the current holiday shopping season. The promise of a 2015 social commerce boom started to gathered steam in the middle of the year when both Facebook and Twitter started to test out buy buttons on their platforms.
The buy buttons were supposed to aid online ads by making it easier for you to shop from brands right within social media. The premise is that online ads are doing a great job of bringing items you might love to buy to your notice based on buying patterns in your social graph. Buy buttons are designed to help you place an order for a product from the ad without having to leave Facebook or Twitter for the retailer’s platform.
Teasing social commerce
In July, Facebook unveiled “Buy Buttons” that were added to its Pages as parts of plans to become a one-stop shop for sellers and buyers to do business. Facebook’s product market manager Emma Rodgers was quoted saying that users can expect “entire shopping experience to occur within Facebook — from product discovery to checkout” … With the shop section on the page, we’re now giving firms the ability to showcase their products on the page”.
In October Twitter made its intent in the social commerce space known after it unveiled its own “Buy Buttons”. The firm plans to become the biggest social market place after noting that more than 50 million tweets every month say “I Want” something. Twitter’s head of commerce Nathan Hubbard says, “Brands are building direct relationships with consumers and they’re using platforms to build those direct relationships. What they don’t always have is distribution,”
Facebook and Twitter are MIA
One would have thought that Facebook and Twitter would have killed shoppers with a loads of buy buttons that would make it hard to follow posts and tweets. Re/Code reveals that a shopping trip to both platforms to buy items during the holiday was fruitless. Jason notes that he made a simple shopping list for: a black sweater, a golf bag and something warm with a Seahawks logo; yet, he couldn’t find any of the items on either platform.
Amazon.com Inc. still controls the online shopping space and it does not appear as if social media firms can steal even a fraction of its market share. Facebook Inc and sells the ads that push the sales for Amazon; but both firms can’t seem to make the ads for their own ecommerce plans. In theory, Facebook and Twitter should be able to ride on the waves of their vibrant user bases to push social commerce; in practice, it appears that users don’t like seeing ads next to cute cat pictures.