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Brief Published: 19 Oct 2012

Facebook Tests E-Commerce ‘Collections’ Feature


In the hope of recapturing interest from investors, social media giant Facebook has taken a step towards boosting its e-commerce potential by developing a trio of retail-orientated buttons.

Apparently inspired by Facebook’s popular ‘Like’ button, whereby users can click to show approval for any comment, group or photo, the new Collections service will enable users to flag, share and save their desired products.

Items they wish to purchase can be flagged by clicking the ‘Want’ icon, while another icon called ‘Collect’ saves the item to their personalised photo-album-style collection – a service that appears to borrow from photo-sharing website Pinterest. All buttons appear on the brands’ Facebook pages.

The activity will be visible to users' friends on their Timelines and there will be a ‘Buy’ link for each product in a Collection that links to the retailer’s website, presenting a great potential traffic driver from Facebook’s one billion members.

Homeware retailer Pottery Barn, luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus, and lingerie brand Victoria's Secret are among seven US companies currently trialling Facebook Collections. Although the Collections feature still doesn’t generate any revenue for Facebook, it is reportedly paving the way for the launch of an integrated gifts service, where users can buy presents for their Facebook friends.

Stylus reports Social Media Seduction and the Play with Me section of Industry Trend, Power of Play look further at the importance of peer persuasion in the e-commerce sector.