Buy Buttons And The Future Of B2B Ecommerce

Chris CrumeCommerce

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There's been a lot of news about buy buttons on social sites for the past year or so, particularly on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. In the months ahead, users of these services are likely going to see more and more of the buttons popping up in their feeds.

Twitter recently announced that businesses of all sizes can try out the Buy Now option as it partnered with three ecommerce platform heavyweights in an effort to make the social shopping experience more seamless.

As more and more businesses gain access to these kinds of features, they're going to have to test the waters cautiously as to not alienate users and to make sure they actually are providing a good experience.

Rick Chavie, CEO at data solutions provider Enterworks, tells WebProNews, "The concept of buy buttons makes sense at first glance – consumers are increasingly digitally focused and brands are wise to engage with them on the platforms that they frequent. However, the authenticity of these sites is the differential that made them popular."

"Brands that bombard shoppers with marketing material, making social sites less about collaboration and more about commerce, risk creating over-commercialization," he adds. "There are definitely benefits to the integration of buy buttons but, in order for brands to preserve an authentic social presence while implementing buy buttons, three practices must be in play."

These practices, as Chavie puts them, are as follows:

1. Use data to better predict and target customers who are ready to buy.

2. Be strategic about the products embedded with direct-to-purchase links.

3. Test the strategy using a small group of consumers, see what sticks, then adapt as necessary.

CloudCraze recently teamed up with Salesforce in what a spokesperson describes as "a similar pursuit to make the B2B buying process more convenient and seamless for its clients' customers."

CloudCraze CEO Chris Dalton shared some thoughts about the overarching trend on what the B2B space can expect to see in the coming years as ecommerce partnerships and platform integrations continue to "redesign the once very straight-forward and distinguished B2C and B2B buying experience."

“As professionals in the eCommerce space, we've all witnessed firsthand the growing demand for a seamless, connected user experience," Dalton tells us. "The needs and expectations for B2B buyers are vastly different than those in B2C, but the B2B buyers are looking for the same ease of use they get with their personal B2C purchases. Similar technologies are being developed to power both experiences."

"With the introduction of eCommerce platforms for businesses to meet customer demands, a more integrated and scalable end-to-end process from factory to storefront has become a reality in the marketplace," he adds. "Scalable, affordable platforms exist that can help B2B companies improve communication, increase production efficiency, and simplify the purchase process. One example we are already seeing gain traction is the integration of 'buy' buttons, allowing buyers to make purchases in context, rather than redirecting them through multiple sites before they make the final purchase. Taking cues from the B2C eCommerce marketplace, I expect we will see a fast growth in the adoption of in-context commerce technology in the B2B market."

"While B2B is still in its pioneer stages of online sales compared to the maturity of its B2C cousin, B2B marketers actually have the advantage in the long term over that of B2C, as their customer profile is much deeper and more robust," Dalton says. "With more background information to effectively address buyers’ needs, B2B companies will be able to integrate more intuitive and catered targeted marketing campaigns into the customer’s end-to-end buying experience that span from the research stages to the purchase. There is great potential for in-context commerce in the B2B market."

In addition to CloudCraze, Salesforce recently made ecommerce partnerships with Bigcommerce and Demandware.

Image via Twitter

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.