Do you remember when Twitter introduced shopping to their platform?
If you’re memory’s fuzzy, that’s because back in 2015, Twitter briefly trialled a ‘buy now’ feature but promptly pulled it to work on other projects.
Now it’s back, and they’ve begun to roll out the new shopping tool to test on the US market (for now).
In this post, we’ll explore how it works and what it could mean for Twitter users in the future.
Twitter’s new shopping tool
In July 2021, Twitter announced their long-awaited shopping tool launched to a few selected businesses in the US.
The feature will allow users to browse and purchase products from brands on Twitter without leaving the platform.
Users of social media are coming around to a new way of shopping. Other social platforms such as Instagram already have a shopping feature, so it makes sense that Twitter would take advantage of the increased popularity of eCommerce.
But how popular will it be? Can consumers see a future in buying directly through Twitter? Let’s find out how this tool will work.
How will the shopping tool work?
When a business uses the shopping tool on their Twitter account, it displays a carousel of products at the top of their feed, underneath their bio.
Followers who visit their account can scroll through the images and click to find out more about their products. They can purchase them directly without having to leave Twitter.
Similarly, businesses can create tweets with embedded products that users can click to shop.
What will shopping mean for Twitter users?
Online shopping boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A study by Sprout Social also shows that when a consumer follows a brand on social media, 90% of them will buy from them. That’s huge!
It’s a logical step for businesses to simplify the shopping process for their social followers. They’ll no longer need to direct users off the site to purchase, which could increase their customer base.
‘Social shopping’ is when social media and shopping combine to make one cohesive experience. Brands benefit because consumers use socials to read reviews and talk about brands and products they love and hate.
If a business can help shape the conversations by guiding their potential customers, it could positively influence more people to buy.
Twitter has confirmed the tool will be available to businesses of all sizes. This could result in higher profits for small, local businesses as well as household brands. They’ve also hinted at ‘creator-founded businesses’ having access to shopping, too.
Does this mean celebrities and influencers will be able to sell merchandise or digital offerings? It remains to be seen, but it could expand monetisation on Twitter beyond simply buying products.
On the flip side, users may begin to see an increase in promotional posts sharing products for them to buy.
This could affect how users choose to interact with their brand.
Potentially, this could lead to companies gaining followers from consumers who want the latest promotions and launches or losing a following if they push product promotion too heavily.
Twitter’s shopping tool will enable people to buy products directly from brands they follow without leaving Twitter.
Without further testing, it’s difficult to know what effect this will have on user experience or the success of brands using the feature.
However, with social shopping on the rise, it could revolutionise the platform and shape the way we use Twitter in the future.