Welcome to the Holiday Marketeer blog series in which Boost Media serves up hearty portions of 2015 holiday digital marketing strategy ideas. In this installment, we talk about ‘buy buttons’ and what they mean for digital marketers.


By now, you’ve likely seen or heard about buy buttons, which are a quick way for customers to purchase directly from search, social, and video platforms. You may be asking, “What do digital marketers need to do about buy buttons for the 2015 holiday season?”

Boost’s Holiday Marketeer gets you up-to-speed with answers to these questions and more. But first, let’s review the statistics.


Metrics that matter: Buy buttons

  • 202%. The year-over-year lift in social media-referred orders reported by Shopify.
  • 60 million. The number of shoppable pins on Pinterest.
  • 84%. The percent of Pinterest buyable pin-referred orders coming from new customers, according to one advertiser case study.


What it means for you

These data points indicate that there’s a trend toward social media as a shopping discovery tool. One thing missing from the statistics is the success of buy buttons from a revenue standpoint. Since buy buttons are relatively new, it’s still too early to tell how successful they will be in generating sales, making them dubious to prioritize over other possible tests this holiday season.

A representative from Pinterest had tempered expectations on typical results from the Pinterest buy button, citing that customers aren’t yet used to interacting with these ad units.

Still, it’s worth it for brands to begin preparing now, given the investment being made in buy buttons across the digital ecosystem. It’s easy to imagine customers will quickly become accustomed to social discovery-fueled shopping, facilitated by buy buttons.

Let’s take a moment to recap some of the major networks with buy buttons, many of which still have the ad units in beta, with a select group of advertisers:



As part of Instagram’s action-oriented suite of ads released in June, Instagram has an ad unit with several call-to-action options including “shop now,” which allows users to make a purchase while staying within Instagram.

Instagram shop now button



Pinterest has made Buyable Pins available to advertisers on select e-commerce platforms since late June.

Pinterest buy button



In mid-July, Google announced it is beta testing its own version of the buy button in mobile paid search results.

Google buy button



In late September, YouTube launched Shopping Ads, which include a click-to-buy option within partner videos.

Youtube shopping ads



In late September, Twitter announced U.S. advertisers on select e-commerce platforms have access to “Buy” buttons in tweets.

Twitter buy button



Facebook, which has tested a buy button for over a year, in October announced it is testing a shopping tab in the platform, enabling users to shop directly in the platform without visiting a brand’s site.

Facebook buy button




The shopping network announced it will release a “speed buy” button within it’s new Apple TV app, to be released in early November, where users can make purchases directly in the app.

QVCTV buy button


Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV just announced it will include a shopping functionality. Although, not exactly a “buy now” button, since it takes three clicks to purchase: one click on the ad, one on the “checkout,” and one on the “confirmation.”

amazontv buy button

Where to go from here

With so many major networks supplying buy button-infused ad inventory, customer shopping behavior will be influenced—it’s just not clear yet how and to what extent. At this phase, it’s worth testing buy buttons on a small scale to establish a benchmark and to begin collecting intelligence to inform your buy button strategy next holiday season.



About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.