We’ve seen several spikes in hype around the idea of social commerce: people buying products (music, tickets and artist merch included) through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The hype has often turned out to be a bit of a damp squib, but there is evidence that the social networks are preparing for a big push to prove the hype right. Witness the latest news on Facebook’s plans to build e-commerce into Pages on its network, via a shopping section.
“With the shop section on the page, we’re now providing businesses with the ability to showcase their products directly on the page,” product marketing manager Emma Rodgers told BuzzFeed. The shops are still in testing, but the idea is that people can browse products AND buy them without leaving Facebook – with the social network not taking a cut of sales for now. The key question is how page owners drive traffic to these shopping sections: marketers will be carefully monitoring how much they need to spend on ads versus how much they make from sales before betting the house on the new feature.