Commerce might be getting even more social for e-retailers. Some developers have discovered that Facebook seems to be testing a new Want button plugin in addition to the current Like button. The new Want button is not yet publicly listed on Facebook’s Developer Site and according to developer Tom Waddington, will only be applicable to objects marked as products in Facebook’s Open Graph. Though the publishing action is currently disabled, Waddington was able to implement the Want button to his own site. Clicking it delivers the message, “Tom Waddington Wants This,” though an error message also still currently follows. This morning, Facebook declined to deny to Business Insider that this new feature is in the works, simply saying, “We’re always testing new Platform features.”
What does this mean for retailers? The first thing that comes to mind is a virtual social gifting/registry functionality for retailers where their customers can have instant access to what’s on their friends’ wishlists. Facebook could also amass users’ Want lists from across multiple retailers to deliver on their friends’ newsfeeds in conjunction with birthday, wedding, anniversary, birth, and other milestone announcements. It also opens doors for new advertising models, where Facebook can serve ads to users based on their Want patterns. Clicking that you’re in want of a new handbag, for example, might put you in the pool of consumers that now sees Gucci ads in their Timeline. And, of course, there are many other CRM implications for retailers themselves, once they have access to knowing what their customers are in the market for.
While final details still remain to be seen, there is one thing we truly believe in: once touted as impersonal, e-commerce may quickly become the most personally customized way to shop yet.