‘Buy It Now’: But what are brands buying?


The last month has seen the rise of the ‘buy’ button, signalling that the face of online retail has changed significantly. Facebook, Google and Pinterest have all begun testing new e-commerce features that are set to make the most of the ‘I want it now’ economy.  However, each new button offers a different consumer experience – so what are brands buying with ‘Buy It Now’?

Facebook ‘Shop’ pages

Facebook actually introduced its ‘Buy It Now’ button last year, but earlier this month announced that it will be introducing it to new ‘Shop’ pages – a wholly unique and premium offering.


Facebook is developing mini e-commerce sites within its platform. As a result we will see consumers discovering brands and products within Facebook, sharing and discussing them with friends and making purchases – without ever having to leave the site.

As Facebook seeks to do a similar thing with publisher content by hosting news and entertainment from third parties within the platform, its already sophisticated targeting capabilities are set to become increasingly hard to beat.

‘Purchases on Google’

Google’s new offering is a pretty simple one: the search giant is just stripping out the middle man and making purchasing more direct for consumers. Purchases will still be handled by merchants but promoted searches in mobile will feature a buy button that will take consumers directly to the page where they can buy the product.

This is a mobile-first approach that when combined with Google’s search offering – which brings with it price comparisons and reviews – should prove a big hit with online retailers.

Buyable Pins

user-ed-video-lockup-business-site_1With Buyable Pins, Pinterest is simply extending something affiliate marketers have been doing for a while, and formalising it into an ad unit that they can overlay with demographic data.

Pinterest has always been a home of creative ideas that have effectively sold products, with Millward Brown finding that 87% of pinners report Pinterest engagement has helped them decide what to purchase. All this new development will mean is that consumers will be able to click a ‘buy it’ pin, and make a purchase without leaving the app.

At present the offering will be free, unless brands choose to promote their pins in native ads within the app. This will afford them the benefit of overlaying Pinterest data, allowing for sophisticated targeting based on tastes and interests.

So what does all this mean? Ultimately, reducing the friction between browsing, product discovery, purchase and delivery is fast becoming the key to winning big online. So it’s crucial for advertisers to understand where each of these new features fits, and to take full advantage of the opportunity at hand.

Read more: http://wallblog.co.uk/2015/07/29/buy-it-now-but-what-are-brands-buying/#ixzz3hdQwcsRV
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Nathan Barling

Nathan Barling, global chief data and technology officer at iProspect

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