Two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Google is potentially launching a Buy Button on mobile search results, which was confirmed a week later by Omid Kordestani, Google's Chief Business Officer. Yesterday Pinterest confirmed they are launching "Buyable Pins" later this month. Not to be left out, Instagram also announced they will be adding Buy Buttons below images, which is a big departure from their initial strategy of non-clickable posts.This makes Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram all jumping on the "Buy Now" bandwagon to make shopping easier and more instantaneous for all shoppers.
If you've read Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report, this is exactly what consumers want. She states "consumers' expectations that they can get what they want with ease and speed will continue to rise." Now consumers will have the option of quickly buying products on many of the biggest players without ever visiting a retailer. In a mobile-dominant world, this will play well with shoppers on the go. In fact, in the same Internet Trends Report, Meeker shows a study by Zigby Analytics where 60% of Millennials agree that in the next five years everything will be done on mobile devices. Consumers not only want to be able to order items seamlessly from wherever they are, but they also want to receive those items as quickly as possible, which is spurring the race towards faster delivery.
Buyers will have more options to shop from wherever it's most convenient, which may mean never visiting the retailer's site. Amazon was the market leader in trying to streamline the purchase process with their 1-click ordering, although this still required visiting Amazon’s site. Now they are taking it a step further with the introduction of the Dash Button, allowing customers to order household products without ever visiting the Amazon site.
Ultimately these buy buttons are likely to prove beneficial to conversion rates—especially on mobile—but they have unknown consequences for the lifetime value of these customers. Retailers are going to need a strategy to engage with the customer post-purchase in a world where the first interaction may be on delivery. Engagement methods will need to expand beyond a retailer’s site. Research has proven that customers trust each other for recommendations, more than brand advertising, which means retailers will need a targeted approach for ensuring customers are satisfied post-purchase, regardless of where the purchase originated. Advanced analytics and the utilization of big data will be imperative to understanding the full customer journey. Relationship marketing will be key. From customer service to email promotions, rewards programs to social engagement, retailers will need to find creative ways to grow brand loyalty.