Online shopping was first introduced in 1995 with the launches of Amazon and eBay. At that point in time, only 16 million people in the world had Internet access. Ecommerce made shopping for most items more convenient, but not necessarily easier. Over the years we have seen many changes and advances in ecommerce, not only from the seller’s side but also in buyer’s behavior.
Now, in 2014, there are over 3 billion people in the world that use the Internet, and the way we use the Internet is drastically different, thanks to the introduction of social media in the early 2000s. With an immersion in constant, immediate information, we are turning into an instant gratification-seeking type of people. Experian Marketing Services says Internet users spend 27% of their time online on social media, which, according to Business Insider, makes social media the most popular online activity.
Facebook and Twitter are both working on a one-click buying process that won’t take you away from their website, making it easier than ever to buy the products you want, need and love. Back in July, Facebook started to test a ‘buy’ button to make it easier for consumers to purchase items featured in its ads and posts. It was also announced in September that Twitter is working on a ‘buy’ button for tweets. These social networks seem to realize that when users are on their favorite social network, they don’t want to leave.
Twitter has been focused on making “social ecommerce” easier for a while now. They have been working with the number-one online retailer, Amazon, since May. Simply by using the hashtag #AmazonCart, you can now place an item in your cart on Amazon. In July, Twitter bought CardSpring and now allows users to redeem coupons and discounts by using —you guessed it —tweets. This month, Twitter introduced the hashtag #AmazonWishList, to place an item, on your Amazon Wishlist.
Not only will these ‘buy’ buttons change the way users purchase items, they will also change social media advertising. This ecommerce push gives even more value to ads on the social networks. Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke says, “Because you are actually selling something directly, that makes all kinds of sense.”
This new, strong focus on ecommerce efforts poses a lot of questions and potential opportunities for retail businesses on social media. Do you think these ‘buy’ buttons will be successful? Do you think there will be an increase in social media advertising? Do you think other social networks will join in on the ecommerce fun? Robertson & Markowitz Advertising and Public Relations would love to hear from you!