Jon Richardson is hoping buyable pins can bring new customers to his disc golf accessories business Upper Park Designs. Like most small retailers that count on e-commerce for the bulk of sales, Upper Park focuses its marketing on reaching relevant online audiences. To date, that's meant spending 95 percent of its marketing budget on Facebook.
Upper Park has had a presence on Pinterest since 2011, attracting women who pin its disc golf backpacks as "great gifts for hubbies," Richardson said. By turning its company's flagship bag called The Rebel into a buyable pin, an ad now shows up with a $199 price tag in blue. Clicking on the buy it button leads the user to a screen with five color options, followed by a checkout screen with address and credit card information.
"It makes it one step easier," said Richardson, whose company is based in Chico, California. "Once the buying season picks up for the holidays, we'll be able to see if leads to an increase in conversions."
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Upper Park is also using Facebook's shop now feature, and Richardson said he'll use the buy button as soon as it's made publicly available.
Commerce has been less of a focus for Twitter. The company has been noticeably distracted by a CEO change and is contending with troublesome user metrics and a plunging stock price. The buy button didn't even come up in the company's latest earnings call.
But in September, a year after launching the feature, Twitter made some headway. The company announced partnerships with Shopify, Bigcommerce and Demandware as well as Stripe's Relay service, which makes it easier for retailers to sell across social networks.
"We're excited to see how brands will integrate the buy button in their holiday campaigns this year," a Twitter spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. "In the past, we've seen a variety of brands — including retailers, movie theaters, and even sports teams — use the button to sell merchandise on Twitter in fun and creative ways."