How Facebook is evolving online shopping

Facebook's Want Button

Blog by @ErinnERay

On the heels of the largest social network hitting the milestone of 1 billion users, Facebook is testing a new feature on their platform, the “Want” button – enabling consumers to create wish lists for products they desire.

This is part of a test of “Collections” functionality exploring Want, Collect and Like buttons to see what works best for consumers sharing what they want and like from a brand.

This new feature leads brands down a new avenue, evolving e-commerce on Facebook. I think this will change the way consumers interact with a brand and drive revenue for brands. People can easily share things they are interested in with their friends, then Facebook friends can click through and buy the items right off of Facebook.

Here’s how Smith Optics is using the feature.

Smith Optics created a new “Collection” for the Vaporator Series Goggles, which shows up on their page’s wall and in their follower’s news feed.

Consumers can view the collection, select products and click on the “Want”, “Collect” or “Like” button. (The current test allows users to “Collect” or “Like” a product – Facebook is testing all three buttons.) You can personalize the products, if you choose – just fill in the description of why you want the product. There is even a link to buy right away.

After “Wanting” the product, it posts to your personal wall and shows up in your news feed so your friends can comment on or take note that you want the product. Great for gift ideas, right?

You will not see the photos unless you or one of your friends has “Liked” one of them. This new feature was designed for products to be discovered in news feeds, so people will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends, nearly independent from a brand’s ad pitch.

 

When we share our wish lists, we open the door for opinions and reviews on the products we ‘wanted/liked’ from our most trusted audience – our friends! Because, let’s be honest, we do care what our friends think. Who wants to be called out for their mini-van purchase or that sweater that’s way out of style that you just liked? This is going to be interesting!

Think of the potential. Facebook is taking the guesswork out of gift giving. Not sure what to get your girlfriend for her birthday? Check out her ‘Want List’ on Facebook. A gift registry for your wedding just got a whole lot easier. You’ll never have to leave your house – just use the Collections feature on Facebook.

Facebook is testing this new feature with seven select retail brands first before rolling out. This certainly has great potential for additional industries beyond retail. Hospitality – allowing people to share their travel plan wish lists. What places they want to go to, hotels they prefer to stay at, restaurants and attractions they want to visit, what promotions and packages appeal to them. Auto – what cars they are considering for their next purchase. Sports – what tickets they want for an upcoming game. The options are endless.

Great timing for this feature as we head into the holiday shopping season. Have any predictions for Cyber Monday?

Check out some of the Facebook pages currently testing this feature. Let’s get ready to shop!

Fab.com – http://www.facebook.com/fab.com

Michael Kors – http://www.facebook.com/michaelkors

Neiman Marcus – http://www.facebook.com/neimanmarcus

Pottery Barn - http://www.facebook.com/potterybarn

Smith Optics – http://www.facebook.com/SmithOptics

Victoria’s Secret – http://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret

Wayfair – http://www.facebook.com/wayfair

Digital Royalty University is currently offering a Facebook class along with several others, take a spin on our website.