Search Marketing and Social Commerce: Location (i.e., Click) is Everything

By Todd Bacile, Ph.D. | July 7, 2014

Present the Purchase Funnel’s End to the Consumer

Twitter Buy Now buttonTwitter’s Buy Now button began appearing recently, serving as yet another vehicle for brands to conduct social commerce. The idea is simple: by adding a ‘buy now’ link embedded into a tweet, it becomes easier for consumers to click for a purchase. Moreover, if marketers decrease the time and effort it takes to find a landing page to complete a purchase, then (hypothetically) consumers will buy more.

Social media and search engine giants have been attempting to move consumers more quickly down the path to make a purchase for years. Facebook stores and f-commerce, despite their flaws, sprung up due to large numbers of consumers engaging with brands via the social site. Consumers were already on Facebook, so why would you want to re-direct people off the social site to a corporate site to make a purchase? It’s more convenient to bring the purchase opportunity closer to the consumer’s location.

Google, Bing, Yahoo et al. approach the notion of ‘ease of purchase’ in a similar manner. Search engine ads are quick vehicles to make a purchase. Case in point: the next time you search for something notice all the calls to action to make a purchase in the sponsored advertisements on the search engine results page. Why have a consumer click-through several links on a web site to add a product to a shopping cart when you can bring the purchase right to the person?

4P’s of Marketing: A Modern Point of View

4Ps of MarketingDecreasing the number of clicks to make a purchase is part of the progression of marketing’s ‘Place’ element within the 4P’s marketing mix framework. The 4P’s requires marketers to consider aspects and characteristics of the Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Note: for a quick tutorial check out this 4P’s of marketing video, which contains a detailed description of this marketing mix framework.

The ‘Place’ element was originally designed to signify distribution to and through a physical store location, hence the old adage, ‘location is everything.’ Those wise old marketing geniuses circa 1960 professed that you need to put your store in a high-traffic physical place, thereby decreasing the time and effort required of nearby consumer traffic to come into the store and make a purchase. Great location = convenience = ease = sell a lot of stuff.

The evolution of technology requires marketers to expand upon ‘Place’ to consider online ‘Space’ or ‘Distribution’ aspects. No longer do you need the busy physical location. Instead, consider busy online spaces as viable ‘Place’ options to distribute goods, services, and information. Such busy online spaces include Google search results pages, Facebook, and Twitter.

Having a social or search engine presence is not enough, though. If you want consumers to make a purchase, bring the end of the purchase funnel closer to them. One way to do this is to reduce the number of clicks a consumer must execute in an effort to make a purchase. Fewer clicks equates to fast, easy, and convenience for consumers. Think of ‘fewer clicks’ in the era of newer more personal media as the proverbial ‘physical storefront on a busy street corner.’

Dr. Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans and is the CEO of Bacile Marketing Research LLC.  He holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Florida State University. Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. Have a question or comment? Post it here and you will receive a response.


5 thoughts on “Search Marketing and Social Commerce: Location (i.e., Click) is Everything

  1. After going through the blog, I feel that this information is really
    very useful in getting the knowledge about Sell ad space. Thanks a lot for sharing
    this vital information with us!!


  2. The ‘buy now’ button is genius! I think it should be implemented in every media to consumer outlet possible. Everything is for sale! Great idea, thanks for sharing this.


    • It’s another form of experimentation being conducted by retailers and social platforms. With millions and millions of clicks, it is easy to experiment with different options to see what works (and what does not). But, for the sake of convenience I think the buy now button is a cool idea. Thank you for your comment!


  3. After going through the blog, I feel that this information is really
    very useful in getting the knowledge about Sell ad space.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this vital information with us!!


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