Twitter Makes ‘Buy’ Button Widely Available

After two years of testing, Twitter is finally making it easy for millions of merchants to sell products through a tweet.

The social network announced Wednesday that its “buy now” button will be available to any merchant in the United States that uses one of three major e-commerce platforms to run its online shopping operations. A store that is a customer of Demandware, Bigcommerce, or Shopify can use the software to tweet out a link to a product that will show up with a buy button.

A Twitter user can then purchase the product in as few as two taps — one tap on the buy button and a second to confirm the purchase. (The first time people buy something through Twitter, they will also have to go through a screen to provide payment and address information.)

“We have gone from testing this with hundreds of merchants to millions of merchants,” Nathan Hubbard, Twitter’s head of commerce, said in an interview. “It’s built into the software that they use every day to manage their business.”

Twitter’s expansion of its buy button, which builds on a partnership with the e-commerce platform Stripe announced earlier this month, comes as competing platforms are also beginning to offer e-commerce directly from their services.

On Tuesday, Google’s YouTube service announced that advertisers can now place buy buttons in other people’s videos — allowing, say, Apple to offer a way to buy an iPhone from inside a fan’s video showing the unboxing of a new iPhone (yes, there are lot of videos like that). Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, a photo-sharing service owned by Facebook, are also testing buy buttons.

But Twitter, with 316 million users globally, is the first big social network to make such technology widely available to merchants. Mr. Hubbard said he expected it would take some time before Twitter users saw a lot of buy buttons on the service. But he said half of Twitter users already turn to the service when making purchases.

He said YouTube’s endorsement of the idea showed that buy buttons inside mobile apps were the future of e-commerce. “It’s where the puck is going,” he said. “Merchants are going to have to insert their products natively into apps.”

Facebook isn’t so sure. Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, said that Facebook studied the behavior of its 1.5 billion users and concluded that buy buttons should not be a high priority right now.

“We have a long list of things to do,” she said at a news conference in New York on Tuesday. “We are working on this, but it’s not the most important thing we’re working on.”

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: