Rafiq Ansari

Manager Business Development

Ecommerce  |  Technology

Twitter’s Announcement – Now Purchase Products Directly on Twitter


Recently, Twitter has launched a platform for real-time commerce as it is the latest effort of the company to expand the atomic unit of a tweet beyond 140 characters. Before launching this new thing, Twitter had launched an image feed that plays a very significant role in eCommerce. To get more information on an image feed, you can check-out this post.

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Back to the topic on purchasing things directly on twitter, the company said that the execution of it is straightforward – users can see a big “buy” button, which appears beside an image of the item for sale. For once, you can give Twitter your billing as well as shipping information and you are also allowed to make one-click purchase from inside a tweet if you are logged into the application or web service.

Everyone has a question in their mind that whether this new thing provides the company an important secondary stream of revenue besides advertising. One of the most interesting questions for the consumers is that whether the real-time nature of Twitter might produce some attractive new forms of business or not.

Nathan Hubbard@NathanCHubbard, Twitter’s head of commerce, said“There are already transactional conversations happening every day on our platform between brands and their customers or artists and their fans. He also added “What we are trying to do is build the shortest path between an offer and a completed sale, to eliminate the friction of clicking a link that takes you to another website where you might have to type in a whole bunch of information each time.”

Currently, commerce will be obtainable only in the US and with a limited collection of partners. Gumroad, Stripe, MusicToday and The Fancy are four startups that will be working with Twitter at the platform level. Moreover, some of the celebrities, charities and merchants will also test commerce at launch.

Those well-known people and merchants include Home Depot, Brad Paisley, Pharrell and Donors Choose. There are lots of sources that are familiar with the company’s plans say that it expects the item on proffer will range from sneakers to smart-phones to new albums. It is not only about what is obtainable on sale for Twitter, but the way the offers work.

Hubbard also said “Anything with a perishable component, temporal nature, or limited supply, is going to thrive on Twitter”. He also added “Given the speed at which word can spread across our network, it feels like an opportunity to create a new kind of sales.”

Can a merchant like Home Depot really work on Twitter? Rick Heiztmann, a popular tech investor who has backed social networks like Pinterest, said “People are not going to be buying lawn mowers, because that’s not the mindset on Twitter.”

He also added “What you will probably see succeed is digital goods. Tease a snippet of a larger article, book, game, or movie in a tweet, with a buy button that entices you to pay for the whole thing.”

He has also predicted the best results that will come soon from providing the leverage impulsiveness and small dollar amounts. You can “imagine a fantasy football draft night and your favorite sports blog or athlete tweets out a message, inviting you to pay a dollar to find out who the sleepers are.”

As we all know that Facebook also had a success of late driving customers to small and digital transactions, but the experience with more conservative goods was less encouraging. When it comes to talk about the September of 2012, the company has launched Facebook Gifts in order to attract users with continuous birthday reminders to purchase any gift like a teddy bear.

Finally, it was shut down this year. Apart from this, Facebook also tested with store-fonts allowing merchants an option to open virtual shops on its platform. After few months of launch, maximum were shuttered. A vice president of marketing and strategy at Gamestops told “For us, it’s been a way we communicate with customers on deals, not a place to sell.”

However, Twitter is struggling to connect with the normal users in the way Facebook has, a problem that has partial its total size about one fourth of its rival social network. Doubling its revenue in the last one year, it has been successful with advertising. A tech investor ‘David Pakman’ said

“As a business, Twitter is an advertising platform that allows brands to target prospective or existing customers with lots of interest and behavioral data.” He added “Most online advertisers are carefully focused on the performance of online ads and completing the loop from ad to conversion is important.”

It might be also possible that Twitter may have a trump card it can play with investors, advertisers and publishers as if it can hit a home run with commerce. In the near future, Twitter would also monetize the buy button via promoted tweets or it may take an affiliate fee on each sale. For now, the company is not looking to make any profit as it wanted to boost user-experience of its customers.

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