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The Next Wave of Social Commerce: Next-Gen Buy Buttons, Selfie Payments

Mobile commerce has already cemented itself as a top revenue-making medium for most retailers. As we move into 2016’s Q2, brands are increasingly perfecting best practices of leveraging the next hub with which to connect commerce strategies. Instagram and Twitter caught fire as major moneymakers last year with the introduction of buy buttons and integrations with mobile payment services such as Apple Pay. 

These strategies will still reign supreme this year, but retailers will instead use their 2.0 counterparts: next-generation buy buttons such as PayPal Commerce and Pinterest’s Buyable Pins. The retail industry will also be peppered with several new trends, including new social payment options, such as selfie-authenticated payments. Brands that do not adopt these trends quickly may fall behind in innovation – but the ones that do will undoubtedly win the allegiance of millennial shoppers worldwide.

Buy buttons 2.0: Anyone scrolling through their Instagram feed will spot several targeted ads interspersed between friends’ content, bearing a “shop now” call-to-action in the lower right corner. While more brands will hop onto this bandwagon if they have not yet already, innovative retailers are already turning to next-generation buy buttons.

The advent of PayPal Commerce means that merchants will be able to sell items across a variety of mobile platforms, including social media shares and blogs. While the service is still in beta, its national rollout could spark a new wave of excitement in the social media sphere among marketers. Brands will have more reason than ever to team up with social influencers, such as fashion bloggers, as they will be able to provide quick-fire checkout processes for items featured on their sites or feeds.

Additionally, while not a buy button in its traditional form, Snapchat may soon join the instant-purchasing fray by allowing users to complete in-app shopping. The photo-sharing app recently announced plans to implement an ecommerce platform, which was foreshadowed by last year’s investment in shopping app Spring. Snapchat’s entrance into mobile commerce will offer massive retail benefits, and will ensure that many more businesses set up accounts and continuously roll out engaging content showcasing their products.

Pinterest’s Buyable Pins will also become another hot trend this year, especially since the social network just opened its ad management tools to small and mid-size businesses.

Say cheese before paying: Retailers should also prepare themselves for a barrage of impulse purchases made by consumers using the newest mobile payment method: selfies. Both Amazon and MasterCard are in the process of launching new technologies that let users verify on-the-go purchases with a selfie.

Consumers will have to download a special app in order to take advantage of this feature, suggesting that marketers will need to formally team up with Amazon and MasterCard to have their products featured. However, this will be a small price to pay for the amount of revenue this solution has the potentially to stir up.

Millennials and younger consumers could be more enticed than ever to make an impulse purchase from their favorite retailer if they can save their credit card details and swap selfies in favor of passwords for authentication.

Social commerce is just beginning to crest its wave of modernization. As gamification jumps to the top of many retailers’ lists for must-have mobile strategies, consumers can expect to see plenty of interesting marriages between interactive content and sales-driving methods. However, next-generation buy buttons and selfie payments are still continuing to climb in popularity, meaning that brands that opt to pursue these technologies now are likely to enjoy the fruits of their labor later.

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Editor, The Mobile Retail Blog

Editor-in-Chief of The Mobile Retail Blog with NewStore.

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