Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow customers to buy products and services straight from companies’ pages.
While the social network started testing ‘Buy’ buttons on Newsfeed advertisements over a year ago, a new feature sees regular-looking Facebook Pages becoming secondary ‘storefronts’ for e-commerce companies, complete with options to purchase on the site.
So far, only a handful of companies are participating throughout the testing phase.
But Facebook is making no bones about its move into online commerce, creating a new ‘Shopping’ label on a participating company’s page when browsing on mobile, with a separate tab added to its desktop site alongside existing ones such as Timeline, About, Photos.
The new shopping section allows companies to showcase products, with a click to purchase giving retailers the option as to whether the transaction takes place within Facebook or if the consumer is redirected to the company’s website.
The social giant won’t be taking a commission on sales currently, but a likely increase in user purchase intent when browsing on the site will be a big pull for advertisers.
These groups could see a rise in their chances of making a sale as well as the option to learn what individuals are interested in buying.
Facebook’s announcement, first published by BuzzFeed News, comes as other platforms are experimenting with native shopping experiences. Pinterest rolled out buyable pins earlier in the year, and Google confirmed the implementation of a ‘Buy’ button yesterday, having been in the works since May.
Offering brands more than just links, likes, clicks and shares, Facebook is making a concerted push into commerce and setting the groundwork for an integrated shopping experience, ready to capitalise on the 350bn spent on digital advertising this year.
Last week, the company announced a number of changes to its current click model, moving away from advertisers paying for any interaction with their inventory and shifting the focus of payments onto actions resulting in departure from the site.