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Monday, 20 October 2014 09:05

What Twitter’s New Buy Button Means for Small Businesses

Written by  Stephanie Tattersall
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What Twitter's New Buy Button Means for Small Businesses

Twitter has revealed that it is trialling a new eCommerce strategy in the coming months. The popular microblogging website are integrating a new buy button into their feeds to hopefully generate more cash from users. The purchase function enables users to shop directly from Twitter apps on Android and iOS. It sits in tweets and allows people to purchase products straight from a message.

The social media platform have been tiptoeing around eCommerce for some time. Previously, users were able to buy products through Twitter using Amazon Cart. The feature is currently being tested by a number of brands and non-profit organisations in the US, as well as musicians such as Eminem and Pharrell Williams.

Twitter believes that the buy button will prove beneficial to both businesses and users. It offers a convenient way for users to discover and purchase products with just a few taps on their mobile devices. Meanwhile, businesses could find the buy button is an innovative way to turn large fan bases of followers into potential sales.

Pros

Improved Targetability

Selling through Twitter enables businesses to target a more precise audience. Twitter offers helpful data about a company's fan base, including information on:

  • Who they follow
  • Where they're from
  • What their interests are
  • What they buy

These statistics are gold dust for small businesses, as the analytics let them learn about their customers, much the same way Facebook's targeted advertising does. Equally, Twitter provides a platform for businesses to interact with their followers. It allows them to get opinions about what users want to purchase from their company.

Convenient Sales

Businesses on Twitter have large online followings. The buy button makes shopping easy, convenient, and fun. It provides a quick and safe method of payment where products are purchased directly from the Twitter app. This strategy embraces the human tendency towards impulse buys by allowing more than 270 million users to purchase products as they see them. It also enables businesses to attract new customers with exclusive offers that users cannot access elsewhere.

Speedy Transactions

The buy button embraces the real-time nature of social media platforms and is a way to convert conversations between brands, retailers, and consumers into transactional relationships. Twitter aims to make it easier for customers to make purchases and immediately close sales for businesses. Customers are expected to receive their orders sooner as sellers acquire the payment details directly. Users will have their payment and shipping details stored safely after the first transaction, which will encourage future purchases.

Cons

Disenfranchise Users

Twitter continues to be globally successful as it connects, informs, and inspires millions of users. It provides an interactive platform for devoted fans to follow their favourite brands and feel a part of the franchise family. There is a fine line between utilising the wide reach of social media platforms and disenfranchising users.

Introducing the buy button to Twitter may put the focus on pushing products rather than listening to what fans have to say. This could alienate followers and conflict with the traditional purpose of social media.

Security Concerns

Security continues to be one of the biggest concerns consumers have when it comes to eCommerce. Twitter reassures users that security is of the utmost importance. However, including such a feature will more than likely increase the number of hackers targeting Twitter on the hunt for credit card information. So, while the buy button poses a great opportunity for businesses, Twitter needs to ensure that they can combat cyberthreats effectively.

Potential Distraction

Introduction of the buy button on social media platforms like Twitter may be counterproductive. It may divert brand attention away from other social media platforms that could offer much stronger eCommerce possibilities for them. This could lead to major underutilisation of other sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest that could help reach a wider audience. Businesses need to utilise all social media platforms to attract new customers and increase revenue.

Social Commerce for Small Business

Small businesses have been early advocates of the power of social marketing and commerce and Twitter will be hoping to see early adoption like Facebook's offering. Brand is no longer a concept just for big business and Twitter's new feature could be an efficient, light-touch way for small business to use their marketing and dip a proverbial toe in online and mobile commerce - all without the usual risks.

Read 6733 times Last modified on Monday, 20 October 2014 14:21

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