For many years, the holy grail of social media marketing has been the ability to sell products directly from a social media platform without . This sort of feature is only now being introduced on platforms like Pinterest with limitations on what retailers can sell items from their Pins. Just in time for the holidays, Twitter is also rolling out a similar feature. Last week, Twitter announced they would allow online retailers who use certain shopping platforms to use a Buy Now button on tweets.
In what is definitely a game changer, Twitter will let consumers seamlessly shop from their Twitter feed. The feature will be available to retailers who use certain shopping platforms such as including Bigcommerce, Demandware, and Shopify. Other commerce partnerships will be set up and powered by Stripe Relay, a developer who creates software to let people sell items on mobile apps.
“The goal for all our commerce initiatives on Twitter is simple: make it as easy as possible for businesses to connect directly with, and sell to, customers on Twitter,” wrote Nathan Hubbard, Twitter’s Head of Commerce in a recent blog post. “With Buy Now, businesses can drive more conversions and remove much of the friction in the mobile purchasing process.”
The Buy Now feature is only available to US retailers at present, though Twitter will likely try to expand to other markets in time. Retailers with the shopping platforms mentioned above can ask their representative how to use the new feature for their products. Other retailers who are interested in trying to integrate the feature into their site can go to https://business.twitter.com/buy-now to see what other options are available.
Though late to the party, Twitter’s buy now button will have a distinct advantage over Pinterest. The demographic of people who use Pinterest is less diverse than Twitter. Retailers who use the buy now button feature on Twitter will be able to reach a larger, more international audience than those using Pinterest.
As one would expect, Twitter shared some of the praise the Buy Now button recieved from large brands who tested the feature.
“Our customers live on Twitter, so giving them an easy way to buy products that they discover in their Twitter feed, without leaving the app, is a no-brainer,” said Gary Schoenfeld, CEO of PacSun, according to Hubbard’s blog post. “Because social media is our single most important marketing tool today, social commerce is obviously a key part of our overarching strategy. Anything we can do to shorten the gap between social engagement and shopping is a top priority.”
Though the buy now button is limited to certain online shopping platforms, there are other way to encourage people to buy from their Twitter account as the holidays near. Prior to introducing the new buy now button, Twitter has partnered with companies like American Express and Amazon.com to give shoppers easy ways to go from enjoy a Tweet to buying the product.
It’s unrealistic for a website to completely overhaul their shopping platform just so they can sell items through Tweets, but the feature will likely be expanded to include more retailers in the future. In the meantime, online retailers who can use the buy now feature on Twitter should use the button on promoted Tweets now. This way, they can see if they should use the feature to increase sales during the holidays.
For more news about Twitter, read this article on Twitter giving access to its expanded advertising network to more retailers.