Paying through Facebook Messenger began over four years ago. It signaled a new way to make payments that have since spread to other social media platforms like Snapchat. Now, you can even make a payment through Skype. Due to the use of mobile devices and the instantaneous expectations of today's consumers, it's no wonder that social payments have exploded.
However, just because these social payment platforms are growing in popularity doesn't mean you have to adopt this payment method for your own business. Instead, like all aspects of your operation, it's important to assess this payment strategy and technology and determine if social payments are for you. Here are some insights you can use to consider whether or not to add this as a payment method.
It's Where Consumers are at Most of the Time
According to statistics, nearly two-thirds of all people in North America have a Facebook account. Plus, three-fourths of this number visit their Facebook and Instagram accounts at least once a day. If this many people use these accounts and they eventually become interested in the social payment method, then you will want to be ready to take advantage of such a large audience. Other experts believe it is possible that there could be a mass exodus from traditional payments and the banking system.
Consumers Want Easy
Consumers like the idea of not having to pull out plastic cards and use machines or type in a whole lot of numbers. That's why secure online storage of this data has become more popular. This level of comfort paves the way for other kinds of payment methods, like social payments, that are very similar in how they use data and offer a convenient and fast transaction.
Here's how easy it's become. Say there are a group of Facebook friends who want to buy a gift for someone else in the group and each contribute money towards it. Previously, they would have to go to a different site and use that peer-to-peer payment system or some other method to exchange money. That meant leaving the social network altogether. Now, they can stay put and complete the transaction, all while still chatting with each other.
With that ease for consumers, they are more likely to make their purchase decision at a much faster rate. That could lead to many more e-commerce transactions for your brand than with other payment methods.
It's a Global Payment System
Social and peer payment apps are a global phenomenon. Many consumers in China rely on WeChat to pay for things already. Now, WeChat is introducing itself to consumers all over the world, so that more can take advantage of a fast way to pay for all types of goods and services, as well as to transfer money to friends and family. In India, Hike Messenger has Hike Wallet. Additionally, WhatsApp, which is used throughout the world for social contact, is also joining in on the social payment platform.
Recognizable Brands are Getting Involved
According to a VentureBeat article, Twitter is offering In-Tweet Purchases. The article stated that this is a "feature that enables buyers to complete transactions directly from a Tweet. The big differentiator: It’s actually designed with businesses in mind. Certain items from sellers, such as Burberry and The Home Depot, are available for purchase within Twitter’s timeline." This could mean a way to attract new customers to your own brand.
Many Still Feel Nervous About Social and P2P Payments
Some consumers have noted they still weren't sure if they felt comfortable with the idea of social payments and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments yet. Now, social media sites, like Facebook, are dealing with a data crisis where many people are canceling their accounts. Therefore, it may take even longer for consumers to want to use their Messenger service to pay for something.
Other Things to Consider
Still unsure if social payments are right for your business? There are other features of social payments to consider. For example, the social media payment platforms keep the buyer on the social network in one location the entire time. This can be positive for your brand. Consumers are already engaged. Therefore, their risk of abandoning their purchase is much lower.
You'll be able to enjoy the potential for greater engagement with your brand while on social media. Also, it's an opportunity to get more content and products in front of them. Combined with any social media influencers you use, social payment features can become a powerful tool that helps build your brand, followers, and customers.