Exclusive Deep Dive Into Facebook’s “Buy Button” – Part II/III

July 29, 2014

ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

This is a multi-part post:

  • Part I/II – Introducing ‘Buy on Facebook’ (here)
  • Part II/III – Tour: Completing a transaction and post transaction flow (you are here)
  • Part III/III – What does this mean? (coming soon)

Welcome to part 2 of a 3 part series – Tour: Completing a transaction and post transaction flow using Facebook’s Buy button.

Let’s jump right into a real-world tour of the new Facebook Buy Button.  For any online transaction, you can break it into the following lifecycle:

  • Discovery – How do I find what I want to buy?
  • Item page – How do I learn more about the item I may want to buy?
  • Checkout process (payment, bill to, ship to, confirm) – You know the drill.
  • Post checkout / post transaction interaction – Where’s my order, can I cancel, returns, refunds, feedback, etc.

In this post, we are going to focus on the mobile experience because it is clear that Facebook has created a great ‘mobile first’ experience.  After the tour, we’ll look at some of  the same pages in the desktop experience so you can see that experience as well.

A couple of notes: This tour is going to be image heavy – to keep the post readable, I’ll be using smaller images, you can click on any of them to ‘pop them out’ and see any details you are interested in.  Also, these are live images taken off of an iPhone 5S and purchased through my live personal Facebook account of a publicly available experience.  There are no mock-ups in this post.  My credit card information has been blacked out in a couple of the screen captures.

Product Discovery

Your transactional sites like Amazon and eBay are largely driven by search, browse and recommendation discovery engines.  In a Facebook context, it is quite different, you spend the bulk of your time on your newsfeed which shows what your friends are doing.  In fact I believe this is why the first attempts at Facebook commerce failed (activity was buried in a Page/Tab area) and leveraging the newsfeed is how current success stories are working (Lolly Wolly Doodle).

That’s exactly how the Facebook Buy Button works – you see an item in your newsfeed:


This is a watch for sale by ModifyWatches.com.  As you can see on the right hand side under the product image, there is now a Buy Button.  In this example, I searched for modify watches, found their page and saw the listings on their Page feed.  But as you’ll see later, I could have just as easily seen a friend ‘share’ this or a ‘sponsored story’ to have it spread virally to my friend’s newsfeeds, my fans newsfeeds or my friend of friend, etc.

Once you find an item that’s interesting to you, you want to learn more about it.  When you click on the Buy Button you are taken to what I call the item page experience.

Item page

Once you click the ‘Buy’ Button, you are not taken straight to a checkout process, you are able to learn about the product.  In this screen shot, you can see that there is a mobile-friendly carousel that has 5 images of the watch I am looking at.  Like a Facebook photo album, you can easily flick through these on your phone:


(product image 1)


(product image 2)


(product image 3)


(product image 4)


(product image 5)

Note that using your phones normal pinch/spread to zoom you can zoom in on the images, just like you would expect it to work.

Below the product image area is a text area for Product Description that abbreviates the description, but allows you to ‘show more’.  Here’s a look at the description of this watch (some is clipped but you get the idea):


There are also links to terms of use (specific to the merchant and you can find them all here) that are actually linked to over on the merchant’s website.


You can also see Facebook’s ‘Sales Policy’ for purchases made via the Buy Button – full page is here (http://www.facebook.com/payments_terms/commerce_salespolicy)


Lower on the page, we can contact the seller (we’ll show this later in the post checkout section) if you have any questions.

Now that we’ve learned about the product detail experience, we press the Checkout button and begin the checkout process.

Checkout process

Before we checkout, I wanted to point out that I already have an active Facebook payment account.  I’ve used it for Facebook games and Facebook gifts and have stored two credit cards there.  I imagine if you did not have an account the flow would be a little bit different, I’ll highlight that as we go.  Here’s the first step of checkout:


Here we see that the Checkout is going to have a top portion that keeps track of our purchase (product price, shipping, tax, total) and the bottom part of the page is asking for shipping address.


After filling out the ship to information, the next ‘card’ in the one page UI is payment info. You can see that it remembers my credit card.



Here (above) you can see where I can pick from 2 cards in the system already, or I can add a new card.


Once I have chosen my shipping info and payment, I press the ‘complete checkout’ button (below the fold on this page).


Above you can see a purchase confirmation UX that has a normal summary of the transaction. The merchant has the ability to provide a customised message as well.  You can see here that I can continue on (close) or I can ‘Share This Product’.

Post checkout items

After completing the transaction, I can review my Faceboook Buy Button purchases by going to my settings and choosing ‘Purchases’ as you see in the screen capture below:


In this next shot you can see my one purchase:


When I click into the purchase, I can see a summary and status of my order, also the order number.  The status of my order is “Not Shipped”.


The following is lower on the page and allows you to cancel the order (it seems to be within a 4hr window) and also contact the seller.


From here, I am also able to “Contact the Seller”.  Perhaps I want to know why my item hasn’t shipped, or before I purchase, I have a question about the item.  This is the same UX.



You can see there are pre-set types of questions like “I want to know where my order is” and ~10 others.

Going back to the ‘Post Checkout’ process, if you recall there was a share option.  Once I share the item, it shows up on my newsfeed and is purchasable for all my friends to see.  This completes the ‘social viral loop’.




Moving over to the desktop experience, this is what the shared item looks like on a desktop:


When I click Buy, this is the desktop ‘item page experience’.  Here you can see it’s more of a one page experience vs. a ‘multi card’ experience as we saw on mobile:


When I order on the desktop experience, there’s a very well designed single page checkout:


Finally this is the order confirm page on desktop:


This is the purchase view (now with two of the same watch – one from the mobile and one desktop tour).


In the next screen, I drilled into the second item to cancel it:



Here is the cancel order screen:


Once I cancel the item, it shows as canceled in my purchases view:


Then I was sent an email about the cancellation:


The next day, I received a notification that my item had shipped both through email and via the Facebook notification


When I click through the notification I am taken to my Purchases/order summary page on Facebook and can track the package.  This package happens to have been sent with USPS.

Modify Watches had suggested ‘2 days to process’ and 5-7 days to ship.  Much to my surprise two days later the package arrived:


With the arrival of the package, we have officially completed our tour of the Facebook Buy Button!

Up next: Analysis – what does this mean for e-commerce?

Now that we have seen the entire process from beginning to end, in the next post we’ll pontificate on the implications.

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