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Twitter extends Buy button to various DIY ecommerce platforms


Twitter has partnered with various platforms that maintain ecommerce websites like Bigcommerce, Demandware and Shopify, to enable their customers to offer a ‘Buy Now’ option to users, directly through Twitter. The platform also implemented the buy now option for new retailers and brands like Best Buy, PacSun and Adidas etc.

Note that Twitter had started experimenting with ‘Buy Now’ cards in July last year. At the time, tweets with links to the ecommerce website Fancy had an option to buy the product without leaving the app. The feature was in fact first spotted at Fancy’s website in the form of mockups at the beginning of 2014, but only went live later that year.

With this move, Twitter will open up the option to sell products directly from tweets for a lot more ecommerce stores that operate via Shopify, Demandware and Bigcommerce etc. It will also get a one up on competition as Facebook only started beta testing a buy button for Shopify merchants and some other businesses in June and July respectively, after having started testing the buy button in July 2014, while Google is yet to launch its solution.

Medianama’s Take: The number of Internet companies and social networks who are adding buy buttons on their pages has implications for online advertising. The buy buttons will fuel a lot more impulsive purchases and with the option of storing payment details it can be done in probably 3-4 clicks making them quicker. Companies can no longer rely on banner ads to result in purchase conversions. It means that every additional step and click is a cost as users will drop off. Viva la consumerism then.

With respect to discovery, especially in Google searches, the buy buttons shifts user behaviour from a serendipitous discovery of products on a consumer ecommerce site, to intent based purchases. On social networks, recommendations to buy could be based on social graph, what users follow and what their friends buy.

Other buy buttons:

– In May, search giant Google said that it was looking to add a buy button on its search results pages for products on mobile devices. The button would appear next to sponsored or paid search results, and would be displayed under “Shop on Google”. It was reported that retailers such as Macy’s were in talks to take part in the launch and that the products would still be provided and sold by retailers, and not by Google.

– The same month, YouTube said that it would add buy buttons to TrueView ads, where users could click to buy stuff after being redirected to that product page. This was to be rolled out over desktop and mobile in the upcoming months.

– In June, social bookmarking website Pinterest unveiled a way to buy items on the website through what it calls “Buyable Pins” marking its foray into ecommerce. Pinterest, on its blog said that the feature was available in the US and users could pay for items through Apple Pay or a credit card. The company said that it would not store card details of users and that it signed up with Stripe, an e-commerce start-up that focuses on small and mid sized online businesses to handle payments.

Twitter’s ads platform: Earlier this month Twitter also expanded its self service ads platform from 22 countries to over 200. According to Twitter, the service, which allows small and medium businesses (SMBs) target audiences in 15 languages, has over 100,000 active advertisers. SMB Ads for Twitter launched in the US in 2013, followed by UK, Ireland and Canada, Japan, Europe and Latin America, Australia, Indonesia and Brazil.

GIFs and Vine autoplay: Last month, the company rolled out ads which would automatically play videos when users were scrolling on their timelines on desktops and on Twitter for iOS. The autoplay feature was only for native videos, GIFs and Vines. Twitter said that automatically playing videos will be muted while scrolling through the timeline. Clicking on the video would play it in its entirety in the full-screen viewer with sound.

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