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Ecommerce comes to the social feeds

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19 October 2012

Facebook Collections

This week there’s news that both Facebook and Twitter are getting functionality that allows people to buy directly (with one click) from the feed.

Facebook is rolling out Collections, allowing users not only to like stuff, but to collect, want, or buy products that brands share through images on the social network.

It sounds like besides Ecommerce, Facebook wants to get into Wishlist and Pinterest territory, but they are not not trying to muscle in on the payment process (yet), but sending users to the retailers’ ecommerce solution.

Twitter is getting its own functionality in the feed, but this time it’s being provided by a third party. Chirpify allows Twitter users to buy stuff by simply replying ‘buy’ to a Tweet. It’s easy to set up (we tried it) – simply link your Twitter and Paypal accounts to take payments and Bob’s your uncle.

Where can you switch on Facebook Collections? It’s not available to everyone yet and is currently being tested with a couple of retailers like Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics and Fab.com.

In the past retailers tried to do ecommerce directly from Facebook, changing their Facebook Pages into a grid of products to be browsed and bought. That strategy failed, because most Facebook users don’t visit pages. They experience content through feeds.

Retailers have always been able to post links to their products before, so it will be interesting to see if one step fewer in the buying process increases sales from social networks.

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