Social Shopping: Who's Still Buying It?

While Twitter has quietly stopped product development on its "Buy Button," the demand for social shopping is still there and some networks are stepping up to the plate more than others.


According to last year's Walker Sands' Future of Retail Study, one-third of consumers (32 percent) said they were likely to make a purchase via any social media channel in the last year but that love didn't translate to Twitter specifically (only 6 percent had planned to make a purchase there). So, which networks are still pushing for social shopping? 


As Web professionals might expect, Pinterest is still very much promoting its Buyable Pins and that feature may prove to be more popular as Apple Pay becomes more widely used (shoppers can use the digital wallet within Pinterest). The integration makes sense, of course, as potential shoppers browse through the Pinterest app, they never have to fumble for a credit card or visit a website to purchase and pay.


Pinterest currently works with five commerce platforms (with new integrations planned), which are BigCommerce, Demandware, IBM Commerce, Magento and Shopify. In addition to Buyable Pins, Pinterest has announced several new shopping capabilities including the ability to take a photo in real life and find the product online, filter search results by a particular brand and add Buyable Pins to a new shopping cart on Pinterest that will eventually be able to follow around iOS users even if they are shopping on the Web.


Pinterest's audience is certainly more ready to buy than that of Facebook's, but the larger social network is still laboring toward making its Shop pages more popular. Even with integrations like BigCommerce, however, buyers are taken off the network to complete the transaction on the site


Facebook-owned Instagram still has a lot of growing up to do when it comes to business offerings but it tried its hand at social shopping too with "shop now" buttons that haven't quite taken off.


While all networks would like to be the one-stop destination for news, communication and shopping, they have to think about the goals their users have when opening their apps - and shopping just typically isn't one of them on most networks.