The Future of Ecommerce on Twitter

Twitter first announced its plans of a ‘Buy Now’ button in September 2014, and released it finally this past November. While the new feature has only been tied to small promotional items such as free popcorn with a movie ticket purchase, one Twitter exec says it’s staying that way, at least for right now.

How Twitter’s “Buy” Button Works:

So far, Twitter’s button has only been available to select group of brands. Here’s an example of how it works, courtesy of AMC Movies and Adweek who reported on this back in Nov 2014.

The tweet looks like this:

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When users click on the tweet, they’re taken to this pop-up:

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When users click ‘Buy Now,’ they’re asked to fill out payment details.

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Once the order processes, the order history and information is stored in the Cards and Shipping and Order History sections of the user’s Twitter account settings.

Ori Carmel, marketing manager at Twitter, recently spoke at the Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2015 Conference and New York and provided a couple of clues about Twitter’s future plans regarding the feature and ecommerce as a whole:

According to Adweek, when asked about how Twitter’s commerce efforts were progressing, he responded with:

There are no distinct time lines that I know of at the moment, in terms of opening this up. Just like any other technology, this will have its difficulties.

When asked about his opinions on the consumer’s appetite for mobile commerce, he said:

I don’t see a whole lot of people fully converting on bigger purchase items that involve a more complex decision process. That will take a little bit more time. And of course, Apple Pay is going to accelerate all that.

The bottom line is that it’s going to take some time for customers to be comfortable enough to make big purchases through social media, especially with the ever-growing concerns of privacy on these sites. Luckily, Twitter understands this and is taking baby steps to gradually ease customers into believing that it’s safe and convenient. The idea that commerce will soon be making its way in an environment like Twitter, and even Facebook, is exciting, but what marketers will have to realize that we’ll have to start off small and build from there.

Social Media Ecommerce Activity

Overall, expect to see an increase in ecommerce in social media. According to a recent report by Internet Retailer, which followed online spending from social media, found that total sales increased 26% from $2.62 billion to $3.3 billion in 2014. In a separate report, eMarketer suggest that total e-commerce spending in 2014 came to around $304 billion — up from $263 billion in 2013.

What are your thoughts on Twitter commerce? Do you believe customers will one day be comfortable making big purchases via social media?

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