Brands have been trying to use social media to engage customers and drive sales for years, and now Twitter’s going to aid that process even more. The company rolled out a beta feature on Monday which allows a small percentage of U.S. users to see a “buy” button and make purchases directly from select partners’ tweets.
Twitter’s official blog describes the feature as “an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun.” Users who see the “buy” button on tweets will be able to click to view more information about the product or service offered, and then enter shipping and payment information which Twitter will send directly to the merchant.
So far, several partners have joined the initiative, ranging from music providers (like Brad Paisley, Eminem, and Demi Lovato) to retailers (The Home Depot and Burberry) to non-profits (The Nature Conservancy, Global Citizen, and RED). Twitter’s also partnered with payment-processing sites like Gumroad, Stripe, and Fancy, putting “your trust and security at the forefront” of the experience by safely encrypting and storing the information from your first purchase to streamline future purchases.
This announcement arrives right on the heels of a recent report by AOL Platforms and Convertro which found Twitter lacks impact when it comes to introducing users to products and converting them into buyers. The report did find, however, that Twitter’s strongest suit was re-introducing and familiarizing users with products and services, so this “buy” feature very appropriately fits in here and could help improve the conversion issue.
And if the testing goes well, Twitter could likely offer the purchasing feature to even more partners. While Variety stated it’d like to see more companies like entertainment studios and movie theatres take part (since over 88% of Twitter users take action after seeing a tweet about a film), independent and digital creators would also highly benefit from the feature. It’d simply be one more way for them to sell work directly to fans active on Twitter.
The feature certainly would’ve made Kurt Hugo Schneider’s College Musical debut and distribution that much easier. Here’s to hoping Twitter finds success with the “buy” button so future digital creators can benefit from it.