Why Twitter has lost it’s chance in e-commerce

Last serious entry on e-commerce, was announced in 2015, and we don’t seem to see any steps taken forward, to change the roadmap for online shopping via Twitter. We have shoppable features on the platform, but now it’s something that every platform offers. Awaiting breaking news on Twitter e-commerce, we will analyze the tools, search for the greatest examples and see, is there anything more that could be done sales-wise on the platform.

Goodbye “Buy” button!

Twitter has introduced “Buy” feature back in 2014 — a button, that would allow to purchase within a tweet. This was a feature designed especially for mobile sales to happen — shoppers would stay on the platform, and only within the first purchase enter the details of shipment and payment methods. The platform would store and keep your credit card information and address, so the next deal would come with a click (or two — the second step would be a product confirmation. Unfortunately, just after eight months after head of commerce left the company, Twitter has decided to pull off from the “Buy” button project. The initiative has lost it’s potential, there were not too many retailers using it after all, and Twitter’s payment partner Stripe, seems to have pulled some nails to the coffin as well confess. Last year, just after the announcement, that “Buy” button will not be developed, Nathan Hubbard — head of media and commerce — has left the company. There’s still the business site of Twitter, that supports online commerce practices, such as Website Card (paid ad format to see a picture, or a clear CTA), followers campaigns, or app downloads. But, without the “buy” button this social media channel will stay long behind the competition.

How sales really happen on Twitter?

The biggest retail companies, such as Amazon, Zara, Macy’s or Best Buy are using shorteners to their e-commerce sites, on which you can make purchases. The biggest companies are using this channel to find followers, target specific audience and inform about the latest releases. Also, the hashtag search might do very well when browsing for offers, so it’s a marvelous sales tool, if the product might be specified into a unique category (#silverglasses, #yellowcoat). The rest of the sales happen with images, that show up on a feed or with a recommendation from users, posted on Twitter with tags. There’s no unique way to make sales on the platform, once we exclude the “Buy” button, so redirecting users to the store, seems the only way attract users directly. The award for top social media platform for beauty and fashion markets, stays in the hands of Instagram. But…

What could be possible on Twitter…

But Twitter could take the advantage for books, newspapers, software, cars or tech releases. E-commerce market worldwide is filled with products that address Twitter users more, than users of any other Social Media channel. On Twitter we can target audiences based on relevant accounts followed by the target group, behaviors outside the platform, keywords (basically hashtags) or interests, but that doesn’t fill the list of possibilities that might be developed on this medium. First of all, on it’s basic advertising panel, Twitter could add some more objectives, than just promoting conversions, increasing followers, awareness or engagements. We could imagine promoting a tweet or a picture, an offer or a carousel of pictures. The possibilities are endless here, and we could suggest more detailed competitive companies targeting — improvements on the basis of the ads panel itself, are something that could be done internally. Secondly, we could see a Twitter store feature, added directly to the profile, such as in Facebook store — more options of adding product, enchanting the offer and playing with the audience. Lastly, shoppable hashtags would be a success! We could see a specific tag and be directed to products page (could be annoying, but maybe every shoppable tag would have #buy… at the beginning, with the product’s name)? We could definitely have some more updates in Twitter’s commerce line — it’s a pity, that it’s shutting itself down.

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