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Twitter eases into ecommerce

Twitter announced Monday that it will be wading–dipping its toes really–into the ecommerce pool, offering a “buy” button on its mobile site that can be embedded in tweets. At first, users will be limited to purchasing smaller products such as t-shirts and event tickets.

The move shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Social media platforms have long made their interest in ecommerce known. Facebook began testing its own “buy” button in June, and Pinterest is often mentioned as a natural platform for online shopping.

I queried Olapic co-founders Pau Sabria and Luis Sanz to see what they had to say about the announcement.

Pau Sabria, Olapic CEO:

“It’s a natural evolution down the marketing funnel from awareness to purchase. It won’t be long before we see the Facebook ‘buy’ button become a reality.

A natural third player would be Pinterest and I also have to wonder aloud what Google’s next move is going to be?”

Luis Sanz, Olapic CTO:

“I think it says a lot about the potential ecommerce has on social media that Twitter went for this before honing their offering on app installs (which is where most of Facebook’s mobile revenue is coming from).

“It will be interesting to see the evolution of this feature as this is clearly a first iteration. They have partnered mostly with e-payments/checkout providers (Stripe, Gumroad) as opposed to purely ecommerce players. From a product perspective, this will need a lot of extra work before it’s ready for prime time, where prime time is defined as big brands and retailers advertising and selling significant parts of their inventory on these platforms.”

Global brands such as Burberry have already signed on for the test run, and Twitter will also be working with artists such as Eminem and Pharrell to enable them to sell music through their personal pages.

“We want to be a bridge between a consumer wanting something and getting it,” said Nathan Hubbard, Twitter’s Head of Commerce. “Conversations are happening every second on Twitter…and many of those conversations are leading to transactions already.”

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