Though purchasing through social media is still in a novel stage, studies have shown that forty-three percent of social media users make a purchase after sharing or favoriting an item on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. Lately these social platforms have made it even easier for consumers to buy right from the platform with “buy” buttons. However, these buttons haven’t quite taken off as much as the platforms and retailers had hoped.

One barrier is that consumers don’t necessarily trust that the transaction will be secure. Buy buttons are a relatively new technology, and with a greater concern for online security and fear of cyber theft, it’s easy to understand why an unknown purchasing avenue would be met with skepticism. In many cases, customers don’t have a trusted avenue for answering their top-of-mind questions. For instance, how are consumers to know who is receiving their money? Is it the merchant whose product they’re buying? Or is the social platform that receives their payment?

Social buy buttons also bring up the problem of inventory. Since social platforms do not have the capability to store or track inventory, information on what is available is sometimes incorrect.


Furthermore, the current process of social buying is disorganized and confusing. If a social browser wants to buy a product on Facebook or Instagram, they click the “buy” button, which then takes them to a new page. This action quickly removes the customer from the social experience they were having, which can be jarring. In worst-case scenarios, the buy button will take the potential buyer to the home page of the website, leaving the customer to search for the desired product again. This is one of the fastest ways to make a customer abandon.

But, with 28% of online activity spent on social media, and 69% of adults who go online to shop, there must be some sort of intersection between social browsing and buying, and some companies are trying to find out what that intersection is. Have2HaveIt by Soldsie, for example, is attempting to convert social browsing into buying by taking advantage of the only clickable link permitted on Instagram – the bio. They provide a customized page that links to a feed of Instagram images. When customers click on one of the linked images, they’re able to buy through the checkout page on the retailer’s site. Using a feed of Instagram images, Have2HaveIt keeps the customer in the Instagram experience and solves payment and inventory concerns by allowing the consumer to purchase on your site.

Another solution is Like2Buy by Curalate. Similar to Have2HaveIt, Like2Buy provides the retailer with a personalized link to a feed of Instagram images that are purchasable on the retailer’s site. However, Like2Buy takes it one step further. Within the images on Like2Buy’s Instagram feed are URLs for each product. For example, if the image features a model wearing multiple purchasable items, the retailer can provide a link to each of the items within the image that will take the consumer to the checkout page for the desired merchandise.

Buy buttons and are still in their infancy, but with elegant solutions such as Have2HaveIt and Like2Buy available, we may be seeing a whole new way to convert from social browsing to social buying. If you would like to discuss social buying with an Eye Faster expert, please use the contact box below.

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