Twitter is partnering with the major E-commerce platforms to expand its tweets into the online retail business. The micro blogging site is already used by retailers to showcase products and now each post itself can be a product which can be clicked on and purchased.
— Bigcommerce (@Bigcommerce) September 30, 2015
Find out how our new Buy Now partnerships will make it easier for retailers of any size to sell directly from Tweets https://t.co/h1wRnoh9Mq
— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) September 30, 2015
The technology is rolling out across the internet. “Buy now” buttons are being introduced on Google, Pinterest, and Twitter at the same time in a “revolutionary” way to do online shopping. The technology produces search results which are parsed by the software and placed into virtual product shelves where shoppers can see and compare prices. The feature also links these companies to sales in what is known as affiliate commission, the price paid to an advertiser whose product placement results in a successful sale.
On Twitter’s own blog, they describe the new system.
“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. With Buy Now, businesses can drive more conversions and remove much of the friction in the mobile purchasing process.”
The social nature of the platform is key to the process. On Twitter, users can favorite, retweet, and essentially up vote a product which will gain SEO advantage via word of mouth. With Twitter gaining a cut in all of this activity — whether indirectly through advertising, or directly through affiliate marketing — the business is transforming in real time to compensate for the potential capital loss that would result in a social media bubble.
Twitter also has the unique ability for easily-embeddable tweets, giving the ability to embed favorite products in one’s own product feed. How this could relate to promotions and discounts remains to be seen. Gary Schoenfeld, CEO of Pacsun, sums it up nicely.
“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. 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.”
— Nathan Hubbard (@NathanCHubbard) October 1, 2015
The reason this social media tool is likely to become popular, however, is due to its ability to give small businesses a chance to sell their products, or the products of dropshippers and/or suppliers, on a professional platform with an existing good reputation for security and reliability.
As our social lives become more integrated with our shopping experiences, the question emerges why there is no way to traverse the web without a suggested product. Do we want ourselves and our friends to become real estate for product placements? What do you think? Have your say below in the comment box.
[Images by Mashable, OpenClipartVectors, Geralt / Twitter / Pixabay]