Not a very long time ago, a little blue birdie made an appearance on the social circuit and soon this tiny winged creature became the hippest gossip companion and changed the way information was shared across the globe. I’m talking about our friendly Twitter, that took the world by a storm, 140 characters at a time.
It wasn’t long before Twitter sensationalized the way people viewed marketing. One would assume that having created such a following, the company would lie back and reap its results. But no Sir! The Twitter team is continuously challenging conventions and changing paradigms.
The latest buzz is the ‘Buy Now’ button spotted by Recode in tweets received via the Twitter smartphone app. Certain Tweets appeared on the Twitter timeline carrying images of products with a ‘Buy Now’ button which when pressed, directs one to a page where the purchase can be completed. The products carrying these mysterious buttons range from shoes, to designer book cases and Nest smart thermostat. These products were being offered by Fancy.com. However, when the companies were approached about this new feature, the ‘Buy Now’ button disappeared.
Having a ‘Buy Now’ button on tweets carrying images of products is aimed at cashing on the impulse buy phenomenon where a customer is caught in the heat of the moment of liking a product and wants to buy it instantly. By providing an easy access to a payment gateway at a click, the hurdle of making instant purchase is eliminated.
While marketers across the world are already using Twitter to post offers and product updates to targeted audiences, Amazon tied up with Twitter earlier this year to enable hashtag shopping. Customers could tweet about the product they view on their timeline with a special hashtag (#amazoncart in US and #amazonbasket in UK) to add the product to their Amazon account. Once a product is added to the cart it can be purchased any time by the customer during his next visit to the Amazon site. While the move was aimed at enabling users to buy what they like on their newsfeed without forgetting about it, cynics also questioned whether the need for this service was really there at all.
This latest appearance of the ‘Buy Now’ button has refreshed speculations about Twitter eyeing the e-commerce market as a revenue source. Rumours of Twitter entering this space have been doing rounds for more than a year. The appearance of a ‘Buy Now’ button could well be an experiment by the company to test waters. Last year, Twitter hired its first Chief of Commerce, indicating a strong intent of entering the e-commerce space and looking for newer sources of revenues.
The move to tie-up with Amazon and other brands is also said to be aimed at attracting users as well as advertisers to the micro blogging site. With questions being raised about Twitter creating newer avenues to increase revenues, these moves will not only help add new users but also increase the time one spends on the platform.
Twitter is known for conducting various experiments with different offerings from time to time and shelving them if they don’t fare well in the testing stage. The fact that the ‘Buy Now’ button was spotted in tweets confirms that it has made it so far. Whether it survives the viability test and comes out as a winner is yet to be seen.