While some retailers and brands are now conducting actual e-commerce from their Facebook pages, the “buy” button holds the potential to substantially increase Facebook’s potential as a platform for executing omnichannel transactions. Smart retailers will offer, and even encourage, buy online-pick-up-in-store functionality through the buy button. Many consumers prefer the immediacy of picking up an item in a nearby store to waiting for a delivery, and retailers benefit from the resulting increase in store traffic and secondary purchases.
However, security and privacy will be a major issue for Facebook to address, especially with lingering controversy over the recent admission that the company tested how newsfeed content affected user moods. In addition, although clicking a button to buy an item directly from an ad is the kind of feature that would typically resonate with Millennials, it won’t be enough to bring them back to Facebook. This also means that youth-oriented retailers will be less likely to get seriously involved with the buy button.