Facebook is testing a "Buy" button that would allow users to make on-site purchases.
Users on desktop or mobile will be able to click the Buy call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business without leaving Facebook.
At checkout, consumers can use credit card information that they have placed on file with Facebook. Shoppers also have the option not to have their information stored.
"We've built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure," Facebook's press released stated. "None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they'd like to save payment information for future purchases."
While Facebook has experimented with e-commerce before to little success, the big difference is that the new Buy button doesn't force users to leave Facebook for another screen in order to check out. For TechCrunch, Josh Constine wrote, "You just click Buy, and click again to confirm, and the item is on its way to your door. It's like the candy they sell in the grocery line."
For now, Facebook is not charging the "few small and medium-sized businesses" involved in the test, but it could eventually charge a fee for a processing payment. Collecting credit card data is also expected to open up future opportunities for commerce. But the promise of a simpler way to show conversion rates should boost its advertising rates.
"With this step, Facebook is becoming even more firmly established as a major player in direct response advertising, and though this test is still only a test, it's a definite sign that Facebook wants to restart its efforts to become an e-commerce company as well," eMarketer analyst Debra Aho told The Associated Press.
The tool may also support small businesses that have an active digital presence but not an e-commerce platform.
"This represents a tremendous opportunity for savvy small businesses to generate sales in real time," Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, told CNNMoney. "This is an opportunity for innovation."
What's the likelihood Facebook's "Buy" button will prove successful?