Pinterest are in the process of releasing a new update for their mobile and desktop app, and following Twitter and Facebooks lead by taking a step into the world of into the social buying. They have named their update the “Buyable” button. We’re all familiar with the impact that social media can have on an e-commerce business, so these developments are definitely worth keeping a close eye on for those involved with online retail.
Pinterest is the perfect platform for visual content for your social media interaction – as you probably know. But Pinterest is still a relatively new company, and developing everyday, just like other social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It is the fastest growing social network ever, and with nearly 70 million active users everyday it is only likely to increase too.
Everything you could ever want to possibly find, you will no-doubt find it there. Their categories spread from DIY to home décor and fitness – literally everything. If you are already comfortable with Pinterest – I do not need to explain how the concept of Pinterest works and how it helps business. Ever since Pinterest began it always felt as though it was aiming to be a Social buying platform as it’s visual focus, and functionality lends itself to be a platform for sharing and discuss desirable products.
This means that the “Buyable” button felt like a logical next step for Pinterest. It is something that will be enabled for U.S iPhone iPod iPad users with Android and desktop users and all us UK businesses/people having to wait. However, it is one of the only social networking platforms that has gone through and enacted the buyable button, and so has managed to already overtake the other social networks in this respect.
For any American readers, you will shortly begin to notice an update of a blue button at the top of your search results. By using the given filter results you can decided how much you are wanting to spend, you can even look for the right colour by swiping left and right on your device.
Pinterest try and make all its users feel safe and secure by giving a simple process. Pintrest have not designed their own payment process, they are using the support of payment processors who have supposedly been protecting information for a long time. However, as this new feature it is only currently available for apple users you could if you wanted to use Apple Pay instead as it stores a device account number instead of your credit card details, so there is no fear of having your personal details released to the seller. Pinterest have already began to start working with with known brands such as macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
Instagram are another image based social network who have brought out a very similar Social buying update. Ironically, they released the news the same day as Pinterest did. Unlike Pinterest though, this update is not E-Commerce based, as it is more directed for sponsored ads. This means that businesses will not be able to effectively use this unless they have an advertiser account. Underneath a sponsored image in Instagram you will start to notice a format button which directly takes you to the company’s website once clicking it, using a mini-browser without leaving the app.
Instagram however will be using new targeting enhanced features based on your age, location gender and interests as the other social networks do. Except, some of the ads will be sent out as “recommend” apps for you to download, so it will not be just Facebook that spams you with this, but lets see if their system is more accurate with a better more targeted and related recommendations for you as a user.
Facebook and Twitter are now thinking about social buying too, and have been for some time. Facebook released a blog back in July 2014 exposing how they had been testing for a new buying feature for people’s news feeds. Again, like pinterest desktop and mobile friendly. This feature is yet to be released for Facebook as they tell is that they are only currently testing on a few small/medium sized businesses in U.S. Twitter released the same sort of update blog a few months after Facebook did, however they went into more detail on all the types of people they will be using to test this feature and by the looks of things, Twitter are working exceptionally hard to get this feature perfect. They have they gathered up a collection of testers, from famous artists/bands to a support group of 9/11.
There are some concerns that by Facebook and Twitter developing advanced software on these platforms will just destroy the whole concept of their core function of social networking. As mentioned earlier, Facebook and Twitter alone are so much larger than Pinterest. Instagram was not destined to be commercially successful either until Facebook brought it in 2012 and expanded the platform worldwide. These are all key indications that social networks are moving to do as much as possible to come up with new ways and ideas to turn all their millions of visitors into cash in their banks.
These updates clearly mean that retailers must now be involved in a multi-channel approach. Social media has for years and still is a powerful tool in driving traffic and brand awareness, enabling the “buyable” button has now taken that integration one step further. Retails more than ever, now need a varied approach to selling online by ensuring that they are connecting with the right personas specific to their brand over the whole of the internet, ensuring their brand is kept consistent and customers are able to make a purchase at whatever time suits them, on whatever platform that may happen to be on.
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