Businesses Of All Sizes Can Try Out The Twitter Buy Button

Chris CrumeCommerce

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A lot more businesses are about to have access to the "Buy Now" option on Twitter, potentially ramping up opportunities to makes sales directly from tweets.

Is a Twitter buy button something that you're interested in using or at least experimenting with? Let us know in the comments.

Twitter has been dabbling in ecommerce for a fairly long time at this point, but has yet to offer a widespread way that any business can set up a buy button for selling items directly from tweets. Sure, they've made announcements about such features, but only a select few have really gotten to take advantage.

While the functionality isn't going to be immediately available to all, the company finally announced a much bigger push that will greatly expand it to businesses of all sizes. The company is integrating Buy Now with Bigcommerce, Demandware, and Shopify to enable new businesses to sell through Twitter. The partnerships are powered by the recently announced Stripe Relay.

Stripe announced earlier this month that it partnered with Twitter and other companies to offer an API for stores to publish their products and enabling apps to read them. Relay seeks to make it easier for developers to build mobile ecommerce experiences and for stores to utilize them. Store provide product info to Stripe via its dashboard, API or by linking their existing ecommerce system.

"The goal for all our commerce initiatives on Twitter is simple: make it as easy as possible for businesses to connect directly with, and sell to, customers on Twitter," said Nathan Hubbard, Twitter's VP of Commerce. "With Buy Now, businesses can drive more conversions and remove much of the friction in the mobile purchasing process. Today, as we begin rolling out to a wider group of platforms and partners, people will have even more opportunities to discover and purchase products from the brands they love on Twitter."

"Over the last year, we’ve built commerce solutions that connect customers and brands like never before," Hubbard adds. "This includes making it possible to buy products right from a Tweet, load offers directly to a credit or debit card, and browse or shop collections of products without leaving Twitter. As we continue to develop new products and expand the ecosystem of platforms and partners in the social commerce space, we can help even more brands and customers connect on social and mobile."

Bigcommerce merchants can choose to include Buy Now on regular and promoted tweets, and when a customer purchases via Twitter for the first time, their payment and shipping info is saved so they can buy and confirm with two clicks for future purchases. Orders made on Twitter go to the Bigcommerce control panel for standard order processing.

"Twitter’s Buy Now allows brands to offer in-the-moment purchasing experiences for repeat and net new customers without leaving the Twitter platform," says Bigcommerce's Tracey Wallace in a blog post. "For retailers, this increases product discoverability, offers improved ROI for social media efforts and increases brand awareness among Twitter’s 316 million monthly active users."

"Up to this point, most brands have been unable to serve immediate click-to-purchase opportunities to those customers without forcing them to redirect to another site," Wallace adds. "Now, Bigcommerce merchants can collapse the purchasing funnel, offering in-the-moment buying experiences right when and where potential customers are considering them."

Demandware's enterprise customers can install and configure the Buy Now cartridge within their implementation. Merchants can share a Buy Now enabled product link through either an organic or promoted tweet, and when the user clicks, they'll get additional product info and begin the transaction. The order is sent to the Demandware Commerce Cloud for inventory verification, order calculation, placement, etc. When a product is enabled for purchase, users can retweet the buyable URL.

"This is an incredibly exciting time in the retail industry, and one of profound change," says Demandware's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Elana Anderson. "The surge in mobile commerce, new transactional platforms, alternative payment types, shared economy applications and innovations in fulfillment are just some of the things providing retailers with opportunities to grow their business. The result of these many advancements is that the consumer has gained more control over her own destiny including discovering new passions and products in places.(like Twitter) not directly controlled by the retailer. This democratization effect is disruptive but represents enormous upside for retailers who embrace it to become what our CEO Tom Ebling calls 'connected brands.'

"What is a connected brand?" she adds. "They are retailers that leverage technology to establish meaningful, sustainable relationships with their consumers. They encourage and embrace user-generated content and strive to engage the consumer wherever they are. They understand the individual shopping journey and seek to leverage all of the knowledge they can possibly interpret to hyper-personalize the experience in a content rich and consistent manner across all channels and devices."

For now, Demandware is only offering its integration to select clients, but will make it more broadly available next year.

The experience works pretty much the same way for Shopify merchants. The user clicks the Buy Now button to get product info (like size, color and style, for example), and can enter their shipping and payment info. When they confirm their info, their order details appear in Shopify just like orders from the merchant's online store.

"Chances are you already use Twitter to engage shoppers, with the ultimate goal of sending them to your online store so you can make a sale," says Satish Kanwar on the Shopify blog. "With Twitter buy buttons, you’ll be able to make that sale as you interact with your customer in real-time. For example, if you recommend a product, they can buy it on the spot with just a few clicks."

"Additionally, Twitter gives you direct access to influencers and celebrity trendsetters who can help you get your product noticed," Kanwar says. "Now when an influencer tweets your product, it will drive product discovery and give shoppers a frictionless way to make their purchase."

For now, the Buy Now functionality is only available in the U.S. where Twitter has 66 million users.

Do you think Twitter has the potential to send you sales? Discuss.

Images via Twitter, Shopify

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.