As is the case with every social platform, Twitter is gradually developing its approach to eCommerce, and the integration of product listings into the app. It’s already tested a Shop module for Professional profiles, as well as product displays in individual tweets.
And now, Twitter’s taking the next step, with a live test of ‘Twitter Shops’ now underway with selected merchants.
As you can see in these images, the new Twitter Shops option provides a large ‘View Shop’ CTA button on business profiles, which users can tap on to view all the products that a business has listed for purchase via the app.
As explained by Twitter:
“With Twitter Shops, merchants can handpick a collection of up to 50 products to showcase to shoppers on Twitter. The feature, which is free to use, gives people the chance to view products from the profiles of their favorite brands, so when you talk about and discover products on the timeline, you can now browse them on Twitter, too.”
The most significant upgrade here is the capacity to showcase 50 products – with the Shop Module, businesses are limited to five products on display. Now, brands will have a lot more scope to share their offerings in the app, with users connected through to the merchant’s website to make a purchase when they click through on a Twitter Shop item.
As noted, Twitter’s tested out several variations along similar lines of late – while it actually also tested almost the exact same format back in 2015 with its ‘Product and Place Collections‘ which enabled some users to promote products in a dedicated profile section.
It didn’t catch on back then, but maybe, now is the time for social commerce, and for Twitter to cash in where it can, by providing more options for merchants, and more direct connection to products for users, many of whom, as Twitter notes, are already discussing such via tweet either way.
The bigger picture is to facilitate more opportunities for brands – and if Twitter can become a more essential promotional partner for more businesses, that’ll likely see those brands increase their tweet activity, which will help to build its monetization offerings, and facilitate more use cases.
Though it’s not entirely clear if users actually want to buy products in the app. From individual tweets, maybe, but will users actually go to profiles to find products?
That’s a pretty significant habitual shift, but still, Twitter needs to keep trying new things, especially if it wants to add 100 million more users by 2023.
I don’t know if that’s even a realistic goal for the company, which only added 18 million users throughout 2021. Still, that, again, points to the need for experimentation, and as it looks to provide more professional and business tools in order to cater to more usage options, it makes sense to also include expanded product listings.
It’ll be interesting to see how users respond to the test.
Twitter Shops is now available to selected merchants and managed partners in the US. Businesses that have their Shops enabled today include @Verizon, @ArdenCove, @LatinxInPower and @GayPrideApp, all viewable to US users on iOS.