Twitter to Start Testing “Buy” Button in Tweets

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

One of the greatest challenges for social media marketers comes when a business decides to monetize their social media accounts. It’s relatively easy to gain fans or likes, or but it’s harder to translate that activity directly into sales. Since social networks weren’t built with ecommerce in mind, the owners of the various social platforms are working hard to add shopping features. The most recent news on this front come from Twitter. This week, Twitter announced they would start testing a “buy” button on Tweets.

The ability to sell products directly from a timeline or news feed is the holy grail of social media marketing. Currently, in order to sell a product on a social network, the seller must usually get social media users to visit a URL for the retailers site. While this is certainly doable, it would be much easier to convert if the buying process could take place entirely on the social network. Twitter is working toward this goal by testing a “buy” button that would do this for consumer.

“Today we are beginning to test a new way for you to discover and buy products on Twitter,” wrote Tarun Jain on the Twitter blog. “For a small percentage of U.S. users (that will grow over time), some Tweets from our test partners will feature a “Buy” button, letting you buy directly from the Tweet.”

As is often the case with rollouts like these, Twitter is partnering with several larger brands during the testing phase. Twitter said the initial users would be Fancy (@fancy), Gumroad (@gumroad), Musictoday (@Musictoday) and Stripe (@stripe), noting that more partners will follow soon.

The system makes it possible to buy in a few quick clicks. After tapping the “Buy” button, users will get additional product details and be prompted to enter their shipping and payment information. Once that’s entered and confirmed, the order information is sent to the merchant for delivery.

The system will be able to remember information if requested by the user, in order to expedite future purchases. However, Twitter promises to include many safety precautions to make it easier for users to manage this data and to better encrypt it for security.

BuyNow_FINAL_IMAGETwitter’s new plan to add a “buy” button may be a great boon to the social platform, especially if the feature can be more widely released before the holiday season. In the meantime, it’s important to note that other social platforms are working on similar projects. Facebook is also reportedly working on a similar project to sell products directly from posts. And though Twitter’s “buy” button won’t be available for everyone just yet, they have made the Amazon Cart feature available for most users.

Adding more shopping features to social media networks will make them more useful tools for business owners and marketers. However, it’s important to note that even without a being a direct source of revenue, there are many less tangible benefits that marketers would be foolish to ignore. To learn more, read this article with five benefits of social media marketing that business owners need to understand.

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