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What Will Twitter Commerce be like in a Year’s Time?

What Will Twitter Commerce be like in a Year’s Time?

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo set his sights on Twitter commerce in 2012, and since then, to consolidate their commerce offerings, the company has been rigorously launching new product features (such as Twitter cards), partnering with brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Amazon, and acquiring social commerce and analytics companies like Gnip, MoPub, CardSpring, MadBits, and Bluefin Labs.

It seems the stage is set for Twitter to enable commerce for brands; However, commerce on any platform means users should be able to find, buy and have products delivered to their doorstep, on any device, whether it is mobile, laptop or tablet, which would not be an easy task for Twitter, being an open platform with a focus on engagement rather than transactions.

Based on Twitter’s recent product updates and acquisitions we have looked into how Twitter commerce will possibly look like for brands in years to come.

1: Tweet to find product

For any business, the first step in any commerce cycle is to enable customers to find their products and services, and on Twitter that can be done in two ways.

First, Twitter advertising, which means based on a Twitter algorithm around users interest, sponsored tweets will appear on a user’s timeline with a details of products and services. Such as the Twitter mobile app, which has recently gained momentum, where an install option within the tweet takes users directly to the app store. However, when the Twitter timeline view/MAU is in decline, it may not be the best way to find stuff on Twitter.

Second, the customer can tweet to brands to find the product; this is like a product search feature on any ecommerce website, where a user can enter the product name, keyword, category and/or location to find the relevant product. This feature will become more popular, especially when Twitter’s main focus is engagement.

2: Tweet to add a product to the shopping basket

Like an online ecommerce site, once a user can find a product, the next step is to add that product to a shopping basket and to replicate that feature on Twitter; Amazon has recently launched a feature where users can reply to an Amazon tweet with #AmazonBasket hashtag to add products to their online basket. This is still early days and a hybrid approach where the user needs to link their Twitter and Amazon web accounts before using this feature, but a stone has been laid in the road ahead.

3: Tweet to buy product

This is the most challenging and critical area for Twitter to resolve, because to buy a product within a tweet they have to obtain the user’s credit card information, and being a very public platform, I would doubt users would be happy to give their credit card details to or on Twitter. However, Twitter has recently bought CardSpring, a start-up that can link users’ web/social accounts and credit card and be used both on and offline, so possibly users will be able to buy products using CardSpring technology.

Another potential approach could be to allow users to only reserve product on Twitter and then process payment when they arrive at an offline store. For example, for one of our clients (an online restaurant booking service), we have enabled a service where users can reserve their table on Twitter and pay at the restaurant.

4: Tweet to Deliver Product

Twitter has already made huge progress in delivering product with examples like Tweet a coffee and Tweet a Coke. Twitter has partnered with Starbucks and Coke so that users can go on brands’ websites and link their Twitter account and credit card to the brands’ web accounts. Thereafter they can send gift vouchers just via a Tweet. It is still a hybrid approach but in future, via CardSpring technology, Twitter would enable users to link their Twitter accounts to credit cards, after which they can simply tweet to buy a product without linking their Twitter account to brand’s web account.

5: Tweet to customer service

Twitter customer service is already at a very advanced stage, many companies have customer support handlers in place who promptly response to any user queries. In fact, there are many incidences where users have taken to Twitter to force companies to respond publicly. In addition to socialbakers, recent research has confirmed that Twitter has beaten Facebook by far when it comes to customer care.

6: Tweet to reward people

American express runs a Twitter loyalty program where users are rewarded every time they use hashtag (#AmExOffers). There is huge opportunity for running loyalty programs on Twitter, as there are many entities attached to a tweet, such as text, image, location, URL, hashtag, tag pictures, @mention etc. and users can be rewarded every time they use these entities to engage with brands.

Twitter Keeps Surprising Brands with new updates Like Tweet within tweet & Buy Now Button

Twitter Keeps Surprising Brands with new updates Like Tweet within tweet & Buy Now Button

Through our blog, we keeps brands update with Twitter progress especially any development that can help businesses for commerce, marketing and product development. No doubt Twitter is one of the most open and evolving social networks among its contemporary and therefore, hardly a month goes by when Twitter platform has not updates. For example recently there are two updates, which can be very helpful for brands to develop their business further.

1: Twitter now allows to link tweet with in tweet

Twitter now allows to link tweet within a tweet which means no longer will users have to navigate around from Tweet to Tweet when looking to find the reference of a linked Tweet. The way it works that in the Twitter app, users can paste a link to a previous Tweet, and when it is gone live, it will become an integrated Tweet. This will help tidy-up the linking process while summing up more contexts to an update.

Takeaway for business:
Embedded tweets option can be very useful for digital marketers such as the ability to use this as a reply for a customer. Where Instead of requiring users to click from one tweet to another, they can see instant context and allows users to see full Tweets conversation in one click.

2: Buy Now Button Briefly Appears on Twitter

Apparently shopping within your Twitter Timeline will become reality. A new “Buy now” button displayed on many tweets, all of which included products that link back to a shopping site called Fancy.

The tweets were first identified by tech-news site Recode, and while the buttons appear in both the Timeline and Twitter cards view, however, nothing happens when users actually click on the button. The button only appears on Twitter mobile app, and doesn’t appear on Twitter’s web version

Takeaway for business:
Including buying options to Timeline seems like a certain win for Twitter. Especially when Users are used to of both ads and image previews by now, so the integration of a “Buy now” button wouldn’t be very out of way addition. It would give an option to brand users to buy stuff instantly on Twitter. However, Tweet on timeline with “Buy Now” button may not necessarily prompt users to buy stuff as real time nature of twitter implies that the user is more engage in a live event than shopping intent.

We do not really want to praise around our tool as more appropriate option for twitter commerce but it’s on demand nature for twitter commerce stands it out from Twitter “Buy Now” option.

Five ways Brands use Twitter for marketing and commerce

Five ways Brands use Twitter for marketing and commerce

Whereas Facebook is mainly to socialize with friends and family, LinkedIn is for business networking and Pinterest is all about lifestyle, Twitter is one of the social media tools that cannot be categorized for a specific demographic. On Twitter you can mingle with friends, family and colleagues in a discreet way and at the same time you can also engage with brands to get updates and deals… or moan about their products and services! In fact, when Twitter launched their IPO, they categorically said (on S1 form) that “Twitter is what you like to be” and to certain extent businesses are launching their Twitter campaign on same lines. For example, if you look at recent experiments from brands aiming at promotion and commerce, they are not using traditional display advertising ads; instead they are more interactive, data driven and deeply linked to transactions.
We have collected five recent Twitter marketing and commerce examples to give more insight to readers’ on what may lie in the future of Twitter marketing, especially digital marketers and brands!

1.Tweet To Add Product to Shopping Basket

With Amazon and Twitter’s recent partnership, Twitter users can add any Amazon product to their shopping cart just via hashtag (#AmazonCart). The way it works is, first the shopper links their Amazon and Twitter accounts and then, whenever they see any link to an Amazon product on their timeline, they can reply to that tweet with #AmazonCart in order to add that item to their Amazon shopping cart so that they can buy later.
Amazon Twitter Commerce

2.Tweet(s) to Macro Blog

Marc Andreessen (Netscape founder and investor), followed by Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO), has recently started a new trend (#tweetstorm) on Twitter where they tweeted multiple times in a very short interval to present their views on a topic. Usually, they tweeted about 10 tweets and if we sum up total characters based on 140chars/tweet, it would be around 1400chars or around 350 words, which is enough to present your views on a subject. These tweets became an instant hit and received thousands of retweets, replies and favorites, which means the reach has gone beyond million people, and are also picked up by popular technology blogs to feed into their content.
Marc Andreessen TwitterStorm

3.Live Twitter Streaming at #LFW

During London Fashion Week in April this year, Burberry live streamed their entire fashion show on Twitter and as a result was trending on Twitter for almost the whole week – needless to say it brought huge publicity to their brand as thousands of people were engaging, commenting and analyzing their products.

4.Real Time Twitter Data Charts

Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts tracks the ups and downs of trendy songs on the social network over the previous hour, 24 hours, and seven days. The sophisticated system takes into account US-based tweets including combinations of artist names, songs titles, Twitter handles, hashtags, words like “listen”, #nowplaying and streaming links to work out who’s hot and who’s cooling down like a hot egg in a bucket of ice cream.

5.Tweet to Find Product

Payasugym.com has introduced tweet-to-find-product service, which allows users to find nearest gym simply by a tweet with location. See example below:

Ultimate Cheat-sheet of Twitter Commerce

Ultimate Cheat-sheet of Twitter Commerce

So far many brands and digital marketers have perceived Twitter as a tool to broadcast their messages, customer support and reputation management. However, Twitter is a real time ubiquitous platform that can easily be accessed via any internet or mobile text message device and can be a great medium for commerce. This cheat-sheet will help businesses and digital markets to progress with commerce on Twitter.

What Twitter Commerce is:

Twitter commerce means businesses allow their users to find, review, buy, receive and rewarded for their products or services on Twitter.

How customer can find product on Twitter:

Brands can introduce tweet-to-find-product services, like PayasUgym, which allows users to find the nearest gym simply by tweeting with a location. See example below:

How customer can view product review and rating on Twitter:

Brands can display product ratings like billboards and Twitter shows real-time music charts.

How customer can add product to shopping basket on Twitter:

Like Amazon, businesses can allow their users to add products to their online shopping basket via tweets.

How customer can buy product on Twitter:

Starbucks launched a tweet-a-coffee service where users can tweet a coffee voucher to their friends i.e. Brands can also introduce a tweet to pay and deliver a product to a friend service.

How businesses can manages loyalty program on Twitter:

Do an AmEx, who have a loyalty program that gives freebies and discounts to their users for using their specific hashtag:

How businesses can manage customer support on Twitter

Simulate the Dell customer support strategy. They have over twenty support accounts on Twitter to help consumers to directly reach their helpdesk via a tweet.

How businesses can connect Twitter and Customer Online Profile:

The Twitter connect option allows companies to link users online accounts to their Twitter account, which means users can engage and transect with brands on Twitter without going to their website or APP.

How businesses can setup Twitter commerce channel:

Self service Twitter commerce tools like Tweepforce allow businesses to set up a commerce channel on the fly. Businesses simply need to register with their Twitter handle, link their product database and payment engine and set some rules. That will activate your Twitter commerce channel so that people can find, buy, deliver or be rewarded for your products and services, as in the above examples.