Will people be open to shopping via tweet?
We’re soon set to find out, with Twitter developing a range of new shopping tools that’ll eventually provide direct, in-stream product listings, tied to business profiles in the app, which will enable Twitter users to both save product listings and make purchases, direct from tweeted content in the app.
The latest advance on this front comes in the arrival of a new ‘Purchases’ tab in user profiles, which is currently tied into the launch of its Super Follows option, and displaying any subscriptions and/or digital tickets bought in the app.
But it also points to further potential for listing product purchases, linked back to Twitter’s broader eCommerce experiments.
As you can see in this example, posted by user Chris Floyd (and shared by Matt Navarra), some users are now seeing the new ‘Purchases’ tab appear in their Twitter functions listing. When tapped, it shows a record of any subscriptions or ticketed Spaces that you’ve paid for in the app, providing a record of your purchased digital items, in line with Twitter expanding monetization offerings.
But it will also be where Twitter will list products purchased through the app, which is not an option as yet, but it is coming, as Twitter outlined in its Analyst Day presentation back in February.
Twitter’s product listings are currently being developed on several fronts – first, there’s the new product display panels for Professional Profiles, which Twitter is currently testing with a small pool of businesses in the US.
As you can see in these mock-ups shared by Twitter, Professional Profiles will have a new, customizable panel display, above the tweet feed, where brands will be able to show either additional business information, an App Store listing, an image gallery, or a set of products in a Shop carousel (note also the ‘Shop All’ CTA above the main image feed).
Twitter launched live testing of its new Shop module back in July, which enables users to:
“…scroll through the carousel of products and tap through on a single product to learn more and purchase -- seamlessly in an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter”
In addition, Twitter’s also testing in-tweet product displays, providing another way to drive direct response from your tweet activity.
These updates, in addition to its new ‘Purchases’ section, point to the next stage of commerce on the platform, which will take some time to develop, but are, indeed, well underway, with all aspects now in live deployment, in at least some capacity, pointing to a larger announcement coming soon.
But while Twitter working to accelerate its product innovation, its transition into eCommerce will take time. Ideally, you would assume that Twitter would want to get these new options released ahead of the upcoming holiday shopping rush, but with only 112 days till Christmas, that seems increasingly unlikely, especially as it concurrently tests Super Follows, Twitter Blue, ticketed Spaces and its other payment options.
But it is coming. Again, you can see from these various tests that the foundations for tweet commerce are being set, and pretty soon, you will indeed be able to shop via tweet, providing another way for brands to generate more exposure for their products, and for Twitter users to shop immediately from a product announcement or sale tweet.
Which will be a big step - but given the rising interest in online shopping more broadly, it makes sense for Twitter to work to align with that shift.
Amid the COVID lockdowns, eCommerce has seen a huge rise, with Americans now on track to spend a record $1 trillion online in 2022. The digital shopping shift has accelerated a longer-term trend in moving towards the convenience of online buying, and as a result, almost all platforms are now looking at how they can integrate direct shopping options into their apps and tools, and meet consumers where they’re increasingly looking to spend.
Will that work for Twitter, specifically? It’s impossible to say, but previous research has shown that around 74% of Twitter users follow brands in the app to stay up to date with the latest product news and changes.
It stands to reason, then, that being able to make a purchase based on such announcements would be the logical extension, and with Twitter keen to explore more ways to maximize its monetization and usage potential, it makes sense for it to take the next steps with this experiment.
It’s not there yet, but it is coming, which could be another key element to factor into your tweet planning moving forward.