Christian Retailing

Social-media leader Facebook tests ‘Buy’ button to benefit advertisers, small businesses Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Thursday, 07 August 2014 04:26 PM America/New_York

Veteran Christian retailer says many questions must be answered before she would take advantage of the new service

Facebook-IconFacebook is testing a new feature to help businesses drive sales through the site in News Feed and on Pages.

With the feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business without leaving the page they’re on and without leaving Facebook.

Facebook is taking steps to make the payment experience safe and secure. None of the credit- or debit-card information people use on Facebook will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.

The current test is limited to a few small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States.

The opportunity could be beneficial for small businesses—including Christian retail stores—that have a page on Facebook.

“This represents a tremendous opportunity for savvy small businesses to generate sales in real time,” Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, told CNN Money. “This is an opportunity for innovation.”

Donna Baker of Dightman’s Bible Book Center in Tacoma, Washington, is tentative about using the button for her business.

“In theory, this Facebook idea sounds great,” Baker told Christian Retailing. “Anything to compete in the marketplace is appreciated. However, there are a lot of questions that must be answered first to know if this is really a good idea. Will Facebook be making a commission on the sale, and if so, how much? Will a purchase give the customer an option to go to the store web page? Will there be options for the customer to pick up their item at the store? If it is to be mailed, how will postage and handling be figured? Will the customer’s credit card be processed by Facebook or by the store?”

Previously, the social-media giant made another e-commerce attempt with Facebook Gifts, but it ended in less than a year. —Johnson