YouTube’s doing it, as is Instagram, as well as Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest too – and now Twitter becomes the latest social media app to dip its toes into live-stream shopping, in the hopes of maximizing eCommerce activity via the immediacy and engagement of retailer broadcasts.
As you can see in this example, Twitter’s variation of live-stream shopping will enable users to tune into the live broadcast, with shopping options displayed below the video feed. The presentation, as it currently stands, will enable users to either tune into the live tweet discussion around the event, or check out a ‘Shop’ tab featuring all the products highlighted in the broadcast.
The option taps into both the rise of online commerce and the real-time engagement benefits of the platform. And soon, we’ll get our first look at how that works in practice.
As explained by Twitter:
“We are conducting our first test of Live Shopping in collaboration with Walmart, where they will be kicking off Cyber Week with singer, songwriter, dancer and social media superstar Jason Derulo for the first-ever shoppable livestream on Twitter. Starting at 7pm ET on Sunday, November 28, people can watch and shop from @Walmart (on iOS and desktop), where Jason will host a 30-minute variety show highlighting electronics, home goods, apparel, seasonal décor, surprise special guests and much more.”
Walmart has been a keen adopter of the next wave of digital commerce initiatives, already partnering with both TikTok and Snapchat on their various in-stream shopping pushes.
It’ll be interesting to see what sort of response the company gets to the same on Twitter, where it has over 1.2 million followers, with the results potentially providing a benchmark, of sorts, for other brands considering the same.
Twitter’s been developing a range of in-stream shopping options over the past year, with the launch of a live test of its coming Shop module for business profiles back in July marking a major step forward in its progress.
The module is one of several that Twitter’s developing for its new ‘Professional Profiles’, which are also now in live testing, and will eventually enable Twitter to facilitate more in-stream engagement for brands, helping to drive more referral traffic direct from your tweet activity.
It’s difficult to say how successful shopping will be in the app. Twitter has tried in-stream shopping tools before, with a test of a shop tab on certain profiles in 2015, as well as 'Product and Place Collections', which enabled some high profile users to promote products in a dedicated section.
None of those seemed to catch on, which eventually lead to Twitter disbanding its commerce team in 2017, and scaling back its eCommerce efforts.
But now, amid the rise of online shopping, and with the platform’s renewed focus on innovation, the time is right to try again, and with live commerce driving strong response in China, western social platforms see major potential to hook into the same trend to maximize their own product showcase options.
The immediacy, and interactive benefits of live-streaming, combined with eCommerce, could help Twitter take the next step, and it’ll be interesting to see how it looks to evolve the option, and whether Twitter users are open to the new experience.
In addition to this, Twitter also notes that it’s expanding the test of its Shop Module with selected merchants in the US, while it’s also looking to roll out improved catalog ingestion and management processes to facilitate the same.
Eventually, these will all tie into the platform’s Professional Profiles, which could provide another avenue for promoting and selling your products in-stream.