Buy Buttons: Where Shopping and Social Collide

The next big trend in e-commerce has arrived. Buy Buttons are the new hot topic for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and most recently, Pinterest. By allowing people to buy products seemingly from social sites and apps, these buttons are the next evolution in creating more holistic shopper strategies.

Social media, specifically Pinterest, offers unique benefits to shoppers, brands, and retailers when it comes to shopping. Buy Buttons have the ability to remove much of the friction surrounding a purchase. With their integration into a feed, consumers will be able to buy as part of their everyday social browsing behavior, removing the extra step of going to a physical store or website. These buttons have the potential to create a more seamless connection between social activity (and the products within it) and purchase.

In addition, brands and retailers on social sites can take advantage of the Behavioral Economics Principle of Social Proof to help encourage purchase through Buy Buttons. Social media is built on social proof — looking to others to help guide behaviors. Any like or positive comment reflects acceptance among peers. This assurance helps reduce dissonance and create a compelling reason to buy.

In her annualInternet trends report, Mary Meeker called Buy Buttons the next big thing. Similar to the quick adaptation of mobile (from calls to text to pictures to video), she believes that these buttons will evolve rapidly and become a mainstay in our shopping habits. What do you think? Do Buy Buttons have the potential to be the next big thing in e-commerce?