SAG_Twitter_MEME_880x440_Buy-Me-NowIn 2016, retailers are looking to further customize and personalize instant gratification “buy buttons” hoping that these buttons, which can be found anywhere from Twitter to Amazon, will transform customers’ shopping experiences – and translate their social media presence into higher earnings.

With this form of Connected Retail, you can now buy laundry detergent with the touch of an Amazon Dash Button; and if you own a Dash-powered GE washing machine it will dispense just the right amount of detergent then send you more before you run out.

You can order a designer dining room table on Pinterest with a Buy It button. You will be able to search for a T-shirt on Google and see an option to buy one of the results. Tickets to see your favourite team advertised on Twitter will be instantly available with a click. Facebook and Shopify are experimenting with a buy button as “call to action” for Facebook users.

It appears as if these first-movers’ experiments are paying off; a study commissioned by Campaigner said that 36% of 506 email marketers who responded reported an increase in sales from buy button integration so far. The study said 60% more marketers would utilize buy buttons in 2016, trying out channels including email Facebook.

Selling via social media is every retailer’s dream, but there are challenges. Few are prepared for an influx of orders and even fewer will be able to handle the payments. Retailers will need to make strategic technology investments to ensure real-time inventory is understood and that the complex processes involved in new channels are orchestrated correctly.

Smart retailers, particularly those leveraging smart technology to provide visibility of real-time inventory would have the advantage here.

Today a buy button looks like a great idea, and the ones that are already working appear seamless. But retailers are like swans on a lake, they look like they are serenely gliding along but in actuality their feet are paddling like crazy under the surface. Buy buttons open a new channel which means retailers need to paddle even faster.

“Buy buttons could also help retailers re-create the idea of the impulse buy for the online era,” said an article in the Washington Post. “On the web, a shoppers’ journey so often begins with a search in Amazon or Google for a specific item. That has made it hard for retailers to do what they’ve long done in stores with elaborate window displays and sweet treats near the checkout counter: Persuade you to buy something eye-catching on a whim.”

There are great expectations for buy buttons from both retailers and consumers. For retailers, strategic technology investment is needed to ensure the real-time inventory situation is understood and the complex processes involved in new channels are orchestrated correctly to ensure customer promises are kept. Instant gratification needs to be instant.


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