Why Social Media is the New Way to Shop on Mobile

Social sites are dominating the time spent on mobile devices, and they can be used for far more than just being social. Many retailers are using social media to engage with customers and showcase their products. With highly anticipated call-to-action buttons now widely available, social media is also going commercial.

The more steps a consumer has to take to get to a purchase, the less likely it is to happen. New social media options are revolutionizing e-commerce by streamlining the buying process.

Here’s a breakdown of how social media is changing the way consumers shop online.


Statistics show that 37% of Twitter users will buy from a brand they follow, and Twitter is making it easier for these brands to convert the followers they already have into leads and customers.

“Buy Now” Button

Twitter has added a “Buy Now” button for use in promoted tweets and advertisements. It allows purchases to be made within the app instead of a retailer’s website. You have to wait until the shoppable tweets appear, though. As of right now, there’s no way to search for them.
Best Buy Twitter Ad Buy Now ButtonMore Interactive CTA’s

Along with “Buy Now,” Twitter also introduced call-to-action buttons for “Call Now,” “Read More,” and “Learn More” to include on the bottom of ads and promoted tweets. Brands can also post polls and tweetable ads to encourage follower engagement.

Mountain Dew tried the new call-to-action by encouraging people to call pro-skater Paul Rodriguez. As a result, Mountain Dew received around 600 retweets, over 1,300 favorites, and over 3,500 calls.
Mountain Dew Twitter Ad Call Button

Source: Invoca

Sure, this might be a testament to how much fans love the Dew, but it also shows that people are willing to interact with your brand if you make it possible.


Facebook is already home to millions of brands and is making it easier for smaller, more local businesses to target qualified users and make the most of their ad spend. Facebook is also adding more features to make buying through the app quick and convenient.

More CTA’s

With the new Lead Ads and Local Awareness Ads, you can call, send a message, get directions, or learn more all from a simple Facebook ad that shows up in your news feed. It allows for businesses to save money and simplify their advertising by showing ads only to people who are geographically close to their business.

Much like Twitter’s buy now button, Facebook has also added a buy or shop now button as an option for the ads seen on newsfeeds. The biggest difference is that companies can also add CTA’s to an organic post.
Facebook Organinc Post Call to ActionIf you are the admin for a group, you simply need to open Facebook’s Power Editor and create a post with relevant content and add a call-to-action.

Peer-to-Peer Payments

Facebook has also added the feature of ”Peer to Peer” payments through the Messenger App. It’s intended as another way to make Facebook more convenient and keep users on the app. If you’re like me, you rarely carry cash these days. Now, instead of finding exact change or writing a check, you can just connect with them over the Messenger app and send a payment directly.
Facebook Messenger Peer to Peer Payments


Facebook introduced a new shopping experience called Canvas, which works similarly to instant articles. A user clicks on an ad, and, instead of being taken to an exterior site that may not be optimized for mobile, they’re taken to a fast-loading version of the retailer’s website page that’s still within the Facebook app.
Facebook Canvas Ad Experience Example
Source: Facebook


For years, marketers have been looking for ways to advertise on Instagram, and consumers have expressed their desires to easily buy the products they’re seeing. Finally, Instagram is starting to grant these wishes.

“Shop Now” Button

Previously, retailers were only allowed to post shopping links in their profile bios. Now, Instagram has introduced image and video ads with CTA’s on the bottom that allow users to not only shop straight from the ad, but also install, sign up, or learn more.
Instagram Ad Shop Now ButtonInstagram’s “Shop Now” button isn’t quite like Twitter or Facebook’s “Buy Now” buttons. Clicking the call-to-action still takes the user to the retailer’s site, instead of a fast-loading site within the app’s interface.

Better Ad Optimization

Since Facebook owns Instagram, many of the advertising features are the same. Advertisers can even use Facebook Ad Interface to develop a campaign on Instagram. However, this connection allows for enhanced ad targeting based on users’ demographic and interests gleaned from Facebook.


Once an image on Pinterest gets pinned, it gets an average of 11 repins. That can ultimately lead to a product reaching a huge audience. Since the average price of a purchase through Pinterest is $50 (higher than any other social media platform), Pinterest introduced new ways for businesses to monetize this publicity.

Buyable Pins

Pinterest debuted the shiny new blue “Buy it” button on its mobile app (conveniently right next to the red “Pin it” button). The new button allows for an easier checkout, resulting in a doubled conversion rate when compared to regular pins.

Tapping on the buy it button takes users to a simple and secure checkout, all within the app’s interface. You can also search for and browse only buyable pins.
Pinterest Shoppable Pin Buy It Button

Price Drop Alerts

When a customer pins a buyable pin, they receive an alert if the price of the pin drops. Then they can go directly to the pin and buy straight from the app, instead of sifting through the retailer’s website to find the product.

A new feature in the app allows you to select a certain part of an image and search within the app for visually similar items which you can then buy. So, say you see a lamp you really like. You can select that lamp and search Pinterest for similar lamps and then make a purchase.
Pinterest Visual Search Example
Source: Mashable

Social Media Shopping Is Growing

Buy buttons are predicted to dominate on social media in 2016. YouTube has started adding click to shop ads into its videos, such as this one from Wayfair, and Google has also added a buy button directly to search results called Google Purchases. The goal is, once again, to make mobile shopping flow more smoothly in order to lessen cart abandonment.

Most of the features that allow a user to shop right within a social media app are still fairly new and have yet to really take off in popularity. But, as knowledge of these features grow, so will their success.