If you've ever complained that you're just not sure all your social media efforts are making any impact on your bottom line, maybe it's time to test something a little bit more concrete. Twitter's Buy Button, which began rolling out as a test around this time last year, is now being made available to everyone in the US through Twitter's partnership with Stripe.
Can I get a little background please?
Twitter teamed up with a number of partners last year to test the market's appetite for buying things directly through their Twitter feed. After trying it out with a limited number of brands the results must have been good, because, as Mashable reports, all brands can now offer an in-app buying experience from Twitter, powered by Stripe's new Relay API. For the tech un-savvy, the concept of Relay might be a little confusing, but Stripe sums it up as:
"...an API for stores to publish their products, and for apps to read them. Relay makes it easier for developers to build great mobile e-commerce experiences, and for stores to participate in them."
Relay can be used by many apps beyond Twitter, but that's where most small business marketers will likely interact with its technology right now.
How should small business owners like me react to this news?
Well, if you have any interest in selling online, you might want to start with a happy dance, followed shortly by finding new ways to grow and engage your Twitter following so you have an audience to sell to. Remember that unlike other algorithmically determined feeds, your organic reach in on Twitter is determined by how often you post, how many followers you have, how well you use hashtags, and other elements that are entirely within your control. Therefore, you should be excited to have a new, easy way to sell your wares to the people you reach by having an engaging Twitter presence.
But Sarah, I already sell my products online through my website. Why do I need the Twitter Buy Button too?
First of all, you should absolutely still be selling things on your website. eCommerce accounts for 7.2% of all retail sales in the US, and that number's only going to grow. But you can't expect one buying method to work for every customer, and if you ignore mobile buyers, you're going to leave a lot of money on the table. In fact, ComScore reported that mobile commerce accounted for 15% of digital sales in the first quarter of this year. And where do people spend most of their mobile time? Browsing social media. If you want to capture their attention (and dollars), you should expand your definition of eCommerce to include your social media profiles.
Okay, what does the Twitter Buy Button experience look like?
To answer what question, let's run through the buying experience with one of Stripe's most popular users - Warby Parker.
Users following Warby Parker will see a tweet that features a buy button in their Twitter feed, like the one below:
Upon clicking the "Buy" button, the user is then taken into the Stripe buying experience where they can choose any necessary options (gender, in this example), then click the big blue "Buy Now" button to make their purchase directly from the Twitter app. No website visiting, no mobile browsing, just good old-fashioned, instant gratification impulse purchasing.
How do I get started?
That's a good question, and one that very few of the articles written about this news thus far have answered. First you need to set up a seller account with Stripe. According to WIRED:
"Now anyone with a Stripe account can build what amounts to a virtual catalog of items that, for starters, they can use to sell anything on Twitter without the customer ever having to leave Twitter's app"