How to Use the ‘Buy Now’ Button on Twitter

Originally Published by The Capterra Finance Software Blog

My dingo repellent business has really taken off. I’ve sold out from Bremer Bay to Port Macdonnell, which Google Maps tells me are two towns in Australia. The key to my success has been getting right up in the faces of my potential clients. Most recently, that’s been by selling them my repellent — a mixture of chickpea flour and red wine vinegar — through Twitter.

Back in 2014, Twitter started testing out a ‘buy now’ button right in tweets. This year, they announced a team-up with online payment processer Stripe to bring the dream to life. Stripe, in turn, has teamed up with ecommerce platforms, like Shopify, to make the selling process even easier.

Set yourself up to sell on Twitter

Stripe’s Relay API can pull products from a store’s catalog and present them to other sites in a structured, manageable way. Twitter can use that structured representation to fill out a tweet, presenting your product, a price, and a link to purchase the product, à la Warby Parker.

In Shopify, you simple add a new sales channel — cleverly named Twitter — and you can start tweeting out products.

For any tie-in, you’ll need to link your ecommerce or payment account to your Twitter account. In Stripe, you can do this from the Relay section of your account page, while in Shopify, it happens in that newly created Twitter channel.

We’ll assume you already have products, taxes, and shipping all set up in your account, and move right to the good part — getting that buy now button up and running.

In Stripe, go into your product page, and you’ll find a Tweetable URL. You simply paste that link into a normal tweet, and your product will be embedded right in the tweet. In Shopify, head back to the Twitter channel, click on the ‘Create tweet’ button, and you’re on your way.

Now that your product tweet is out there, the orders are just going to be rolling in. Twitter will take the customer’s details on a page that it generates and then pass the order over to your ecommerce or payment platform, which will create the order in your account.

Choosing a platform

Like all online transactions, the provider you choose is going to depend largely on the merchandise you’re selling. Let’s compare Stripe and Gumroad to see how this plays out.

Price is going to be one of the first considerations. Both Stripe and Gumroad have no monthly fees, so you’re only paying when you make a sale. At the per sale level, Stripe charges $0.30 + 2.9% for each transaction ($0.329 for a $1 item). Gumroad charges $0.25 + 5% for each transaction ($0.30 for a $1 item).

For cheaper items, Gumroad is cheaper, while Stripe will save you cash the further up the chain you go –see chart below. Around the $2.50 transaction value mark, Stripe starts to be cheaper per transaction.

Beyond pricing, Gumroad offers Gumroad Discover, which can get your products in front of new audiences for a cut of the sales. Stripe comes with a crazy robust API for integration with all sorts of apps, sites, and other outlets.

Gumroad has made the creative industries — music, movies, and books — its bread and butter, while Stripe has taken a wider approach to the world. Finding the choice for your company will depend on lots of factors, and these are just two of the many options that support Twitter sales.

Bringing it all together

Once you’re up and running, you can dive into posting on Twitter. Like all selling, you’re going to want to follow industry best practices to avoid alienating potential clients while still getting your brand out there.

The beauty of Twitter is in its accessibility. See the tweet, love the product — good images are the key to this system — and dive in for the buy. How simple is that?

Now once those sales come in, you’re going to want to start tracking them. Not just because you need to send out product, but because the IRS cares about this sort of thing. Check out Capterra’s accounting directory to find some software that fits your business. You can also swing by our finance and retail blogs for more tips and insights into the world of online sales.

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