Social media platform Facebook is trialling a feature which will allow users to “want” and “buy” items they see on the site.
The Facebook feature is called “Collections” and enables users on Facebook to engage with items by “liking”, “collecting” or “wanting” them. Products within Collections will also have a buy link which will direct users to the retailers’ transactional site.
Once users have engaged with an item in the Collections feature it will then appear on their Facebook Timeline which can been seen by their Facebook friends.
A spokesperson from Facebook said: “We’ve seen that businesses often use Pages to share information about their products through photo albums. We are beginning a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their products through a feature called Collections.
“Collections can be discovered in News Feed, and people will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook.”
Obviously until the feature is rolled out it is hard to say just how it will profit retailers, but here are three ways that the new feature could be beneficial to retailers.
How will the new feature benefit retailers?
Better targeting of users. We all know online users want specials and that they don’t want to pay face value for items. Knowing which uses have clicked that they “want” something could potentially be an opportunity for retailers to better target users when a sale or promotion is announced, or when new products are released.
Data collection. Knowing specifically which consumers clicked ‘want’ will allow retailers to collect even more data surrounding their customers and their products. They will be able to consider purchase patterns and demographics, as well as see which products received a favourable reception and which flopped.
New consumers. The new Collections feature seems like it will be the perfect opportunity for retailers to expand their current fan base. Once a person clicks the ‘want’ button the item will appear on their Timeline, thereby reaching even more people than previously.
Collections is currently being trialled with a number of retailers in the US including lingerie retailer Victoria Secret.
Last week Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network has reached over 1 billion users.
(image credit: socialfresh.com)