.Global, Facebook Pages, Social Commerce, social data, social media data, Social Selling — November 4, 2012 20:39 — 2 Comments
A Step Towards Social Commerce? Facebook Testing a Want Button
Facebook has started testing a “Want” button with a small number of retail brands in the US. This new functionality will encourage users to click the “Want” button whilst browsing a brand’s collection via their Facebook page to express their desire to own something. This social action will then be shared through the users timeline and collated to wish lists of products in a mood-board fashion similar to Pinterest, with the added bonus of including a retail link.
The brands selected to partake in this project have strong digital retail roots such as Victoria’s Secret, Pottery Barn, Michael Kors, Smith Optics, Wayfair, Fab.com and Neiman Marcus.
Facebook is also testing a variant of this button called “Collect” but regardless of the customer-facing label I believe this type of button has a number of possible benefits for brands. The most important of which is insight into userpurchase intent. Whilst clicking the traditional like button was considered to be an expression of a user advocating a brand, the want button will generate valuable data around users desire to own particular products.
The secondary benefit is that these social actions will be spread through the users Timeline – allowing brands to appear in what is normally a strictly regulated space and opening new earned media opportunities.
The exact value of the ‘Want’ button for brands is dependant on how much data Facebook will release to brands. I believe the true value of this functionality will come from Facebook sharing in-depth user profile data about the type of consumers interacting with a brands product, allowing them to enhance existing segmentation models or even communicate directly to users about their products.
The successful testing and subsequent implementation of the want button would be a step towards Facebook moving into the social commerce field and creating a number of new revenue streams through social selling.