Post, Tweet, Pin and … Shop? Social Media Buying Buttons

With re/code announcing the potential introduction of a Pinterest Buy button, allowing the 70 million monthly users to order and pay for a selection of products directly via the Pinterest website or app, the concept and practice of social media buying buttons continues to strengthen.


Retailers need to identify the differences which social media purchases vs shopping through a dedicated website will present. It is predicted to see consumer habits change with impulse purchases reigning when it comes to shopping via platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. This is ideal for marketplace sellers, SME’s, digital downloads and highstreet brands whose customers may be more likely to purchase a lower value item on a whim via a social network, In the knowledge that such purchases are unlikely result in ‘breaking the bank’. Many extravagant products and expenses which may require research – for example holidays, cars, furniture or high-value electronics – are unlikely to see the same benefits and volume of consumer purchases through social networks.

“63% of millennials say they stay updated on brands through social networks and 46% ‘count on social media’ when buying online” – Badgeville

To maximise on customer spontaneity and impulse purchasing, retailers should focus on promoting their products in a similar fashion. Flash sales, product launches and social media exclusives will not only help generate a loyal online community with the brand, but will also add intrigue and excitement to the shopping process, ultimately encouraging the customer to buy – buy now when you have the chance!

This style of purchasing can also provide many other digital-based benefits for the retailer including:

  • Easily measurable social media ROI
  • Increased level of online engagement, reach and brand awareness (audience)
  • Improved SEO
  • Driving more traffic directly to their website – potential dramatic revenue increase as customers purchase other items


A leading force in the development of the social network Buy button, Twitter has been at the forefront creating Beta tests with retailers to experiment with purchasing via the Twitter Buy Buttonplatform.

From using hashtags to add items to baskets with #AmazonCart to purchasing egift cards for friends via Starbucks @TweetACoffee and Coca-Cola’s @TweetACoke, Twitter allows users to save their card and delivery details on the site to make quick, spontaneous purchases.

In autumn 2014, Twitter took social media purchasing a step forward by introducing an actual Buy button. Trialled in America with a very select number of retailers, charities and musicians (for music downloads) including Burberry, (RED), Keith Urban, Eminem and Home Depot with more brands to follow, by the end of year the Twitter Buy button could be a regular feature within our feed.

It’s not just Twitter, Facebook have also introduced a US-only trial of the Facebook Buy Button, allowing them a slice of the eCommerce pie. Confirmation on whether the Buy button will progress from pilot testing to standard feature are yet to be announced.

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