Is social shopping the future?

We already use it to socialise, share and discover and now Facebook wants to turn us into sociable shoppers.

The social networking site is testing a shopping experience that allows users to buy items directly from a brand’s Facebook page. Users will be able to browse, shop and pay without having to leave Facebook.

Effectively turning their page into a mini storefront version of their website, retailers will be able to show off products in a format similar to that of the photo tab.

On desktop, the shopping section will appear as a tab on the page, beside Timeline, About, Photos and other tabs. On mobile, the feature will appear in a new ‘shopping’ section of the page.

The news comes as other social media platforms roll out their own shopping experiences.

As an avid Pinterest user, I could spend hours scrolling through my feed, losing myself in inspiring interiors and exploring the wonders of the world I’d love to visit.

The social platform introduced the ‘buy button’ earlier this year and it has already been used by international brands like Macy’s and Nordstorm.

Long before the buy button, brands were already using the platform to their full advantage, sharing behind-the-scenes content, inspiring lifestyle shots and product images with links to shop the collection.

In fact, Pinterest remains one of the most influential social platforms when it comes to purchase decisions.

But what about Facebook? Will that tempt me, and others like me, into making impulse purchases that I know shouldn’t happen? Probably.

Of course this is all good news to the marketing world.

Now, as a marketer, sociable shopping gives you the ability to target an eager audience on such accessible platforms like Facebook and Pinterest and it’s essential marketing strategies make full use of exciting developments like this.

After all, Facebook already has 1.4 billion monthly users. That’s a lot of potential shoppers.

For me, the introduction of Facebook’s shopping feature can only enhance the scope of social media marketing for businesses.