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Twitter Trials “Buy Button” in Tweets

twitter-commerceFor the past several years, Twitter has been used by many brands as a great way to keep in contact with their customers, build loyalty, and spread the brand message.

Now Twitter may take on a new role for companies, as the site makes moves to become a true m-commerce powerhouse.


Having shown that they can generate a huge base of users, Twitter is now exploring more ways of monetizing the attention and time that those users spend on the site.

The first step has been to greatly expand their advertising options on Twitter, which we have covered in a number of recent articles:

• A new way to promote Mobile Apps on Twitter
• Twitter advertising gets new mobile features
• Twitter adds new “Social TV” ads

And then just over a year ago, Twitter took a first step into the world of commerce when they launched a trial program with American Express, which let customers make purchases simply by tweeting a specific product code hashtag. (see Amex and Twitter team up for Mobile Commerce)

Now, according to the official Twitter blog, the company is trialing a much more direct move into m-commerce by implementing a Buy button which allows customers to make purchases directly from their twitter feed.

According to Twitter, “this is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun.”

Here’s how it works from the consumer perspective:

  • On certain tweets, the consumer will see a new “Buy” button (see image 1 below)
  • Clicking on the Buy button takes the purchaser to a page with additional product details (image 2)
  • The consumer then enters their shipping and payment information, and after confirmation the order is sent to the merchant for fulfillment.
  • The shipping and payment information is encrypted and stored by Twitter so that it does not have to be re-entered each time, and it is not automatically shared with the merchants.

twitter-buyButton

This trial will be available for a limited number of Twitter users across the US. The initial merchant partners include Burberry, DonorsChoose (a charity), Eminem, The Home Depot, and The Nature Conservancy. The trial is in partnership with social shopping platform Fancy, direct-to-fan e-commerce company Musictoday, and payment platforms Gumroad and Stripe.

This move comes as m-commerce is rapidly picking up speed, with mobile now representing over half of all traffic to retail sites (see the MobiAd article Mobile Shopping Reaches “Tipping Point”). Also, very recently Facebook ran a limited trial of a special ad unit that includes a Buy button. (read the MobiAD article here.)

Here is a quick video from Twitter about their new offer.


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