Kieran O’Neill, founder of our portfolio company Thread likes to quote Paul Graham saying ‘if you make something easier for people to do, they will do more of it’. At Thread Kieran is making it easier to buy fashion and as a result the majority of his customers report that they spend more on clothes after becoming Thread customers than they did before. Amazon’s ‘One click purchase’ is another great example of a service that gets people to buy more by making it easier.
Yesterday Twitter and Facebook made separate but similar announcments that customers will be able to buy stuff directly from Tweets and their Facebook newsfeeds. Here’s how Facebook described their ‘Buy button’:
With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook.
The purchase will be made using credit card and presumably shipping address data stored by Facebook. It sounds like it could be as easy as buying something on Amazon.
Twitter’s announcement was that they have acquired a company called Cardspring which has payment technologies, and they have outlined how merchants will be able to interact more with customers within Tweets, although they have stopped short of announcing a ‘Buy button’ of their own. I suspect it’s just a matter of time before they do though.
All of this is similar to a ‘buy in the page’ service offered to media companies by Lyst that allows people to buy items they are reading about without clicking to a different site. (Lyst was one of my portfolio companies when I was at DFJ.)
For me these services which take a step or two out of the process of buying stuff online represent an important evolution. Ecommerce is slated for massive growth and making it easier to buy will be one of the drivers.