Shopify and Facebook announced an expanded beta test for the Facebook buy button, which was first announced last July. The announcement comes on the heels of Pinterest's big Buyable Pins announcement, which also includes Shopfiy as a partner, and opens up that functionality to thousands of Shopify merchants.
While Shopify has been working with Facebook on this for the last year, the Pinterest announcement may have lit a fire under Facebook's behind to get something moving here, particularly as a lot of studies are focusing on social-driven ecommerce.
Shopify says a small group of its merchants are already using the feature, but the beta test is now being expanded to a wider variety of businesses.
"The buy button allows consumers to easily purchase items they see on their News Feed or on Pages without leaving Facebook," says Shopify's Satish Kanwar. "Buying is safe and secure, and consumers can optionally choose to save their payment information with Facebook for future purchases. This makes purchasing easier, especially on mobile."
The new, expanded beta test includes a group of US-based Shopfiy merchants, and those who qualify will see an invitation on the home screen of their Shopify account. Those who get that, and then choose to add the new Facebook sales channel to their account, can start posting products with buy buttons, promoting those posts, and managing customers and orders that come from Facebook.
"Everything you need to manage your Facebook sales is provided by Shopify," says Kanwar.
We recently looked at a study from commerce data provider Jirafe looking at the impact of Pinterest and Facebook across 80,000 profitable ecommerce sites.
“Pinterest just announced its buy button, and Facebook is working on theirs and they added buy functionality to Instagram. Our merchants have been asking us where they even start with implementing it,” said Jirafe CEO Amit Shah. “They all review their Customer Lifetime Value data by channel data, and their marketing channel profitability data in Jirafe and it contradicts what industry experts are saying with regard to whether Pinterest drives more traffic than Facebook. For example, some studies cite Facebook as the most popular site, but that shoppers that are referred by Pinterest are more likely to buy and spend more.”
“We work with more than 80,000 brands, and we wanted to validate what moves the needle for them right now, so they can start planning their strategy for the future,” Shah added. “Hands down Facebook was the clear winner in terms of traffic, revenue, and orders.”
According to the study, Facebook visitors spend 3.5X more than the average visitors from Pinterest, and Facebook traffic converts 17% higher, though the conversion rates for both sources are still less than 1%. Facebook drives much greater traffic at a ratio of 8:1.
The study also found that Facebook drove 23X more orders than Pinterest for merchants over the first five months of the year. Across Jirafe’s merchant base Facebook also drove $32 in revenue for every $1 that Pinterest generated.
Regardless of which one works better for any given merchant, it does seem to be a good time to be using Shopify if you're looking to increase social-driven conversions.
Another study from BI Intelligence finds that while social is still a relatively small slice of the ecommerce pie, it's growing quickly.
Images via Shopify