Well, they're coming. In the not too distant future, you're going to start to see various incarnations of a little button on social media, gently whispering to you BUY NOW.
For consumers, my advice is self control. For brands, I'm going to tell you 4 things you need to know about social media buy buttons.
First, there's going to be some trust building involved. Both platforms and brands are going to have to be able to assure customers their info and activities are secure. However, some of the folks we talked to wonder if all the recent breaches at big retailers, plus the fact banks are getting swifter at catching compromised cards means that consumers are getting used to being vulnerable.
Second, it simplifies the purchase funnel. There are so many things that can go wrong between the time a customer considers buying something, and when they actually buy it. We're talking broken links, a slow loading website, a link that goes to a home page instead of a product page... the list goes on. However, buy buttons could potentially weed out some of those stumbling blocks for the simple reason that it's right there on the post.
Third, these buttons could make it a lot easier to connect the dots between your brand's social media efforts and actual transactions. If a customer buys a pair of sunglasses from a Facebook post, there's no mystery that social led to the transaction.
Fourth, if you think this is something that would make sense for your brand, make sure your social strategy supports it. You're going to need to grow your customer base, and you're going to need to make sure you're pointing people toward your social pages.
Erin Carson has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.