Working to expand the reach and benefits of its platform, microblogging titan Twitter has begun experimenting with adding e-commerce into its services.
The new feature, called the Shop Module, would soon empower businesses on Twitter to sell products right from their profile pages. It is currently being tested on a handful of brands, with electronics retail chain GameStop among them. Only about a dozen US brands are currently participating in the trial runs of the Twitter Shop Module that, if successful, will be made available to every entrepreneur and business in the space.
The Twitter Shop Module
According to a Twitter blog, the new Twitter Shop Module is a feature that allows the platform to "explore how shoppable profiles can create a pathway from talking about and discovering products on Twitter to actually purchasing them."
The new e-commerce segment in the microblogging platform will involve a dedicated space at the top of a Twitter profile, allowing businesses to showcase their products. Accounts that have their Shop Module enabled would have a carousel of products featured on their profile. Visitors to their page could tap on a single product and learn more about it, as well as the option to purchase directly without the need to redirect to other third-party apps.
"We know people come to Twitter to interact with brands and discuss their favorite products," said Twitter Revenue Lead Bruce Falck during the Twitter Investor Day back in February."In fact, you may have even noticed some businesses already developing creative ways to enable sales on our platform."
Additionally, Twitter announced it wouldn't be processing the sales on its platform, and more importantly, it won't be taking cuts from the revenue generated by the brands selling from the Shop Module - a gesture much appreciated by brands and investors, sending Twitter stocks upward by as much as 5.3 percent, according to Yahoo! Finance.
The Future of Ecommerce
"Social commerce solves the agility challenges brands have experienced within other e-commerce platforms," says Forbes 30 Under 30 awardee Eric Dahan. Dahan is the co-founder and CEO of Open Influence, a marketing company that leads the industry in getting engagements and supervising brand growth by harnessing the power of social media.
He also predicts that up to 64 percent of small businesses intend to continue with their e-commerce strategies for the rest of 2021. Twitter and its Shop Module is the latest move in response to the growing e-commerce sector, which was spurred by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, requiring people to stay home and get their wants and needs through online, contactless means.
Dahan also explains that other rapidly growing e-commerce and social media trends include Livestream Shopping, which combines entertainment, audience participation, and instant purchasing in a single event - providing QVC (quality, value, convenience) for this generation. According to the social media marketing expert, sales initiated by this platform could soon skyrocket to cover 10 to 20 percent of the entire e-commerce market by 2026.
"For the most part, social commerce in the U.S. has been a series of 'buy buttons' and marketplace experiments that gained little to no traction," Dahan explains, referring to the growing power of influencers in the online selling market. He adds, however, that the real success still comes from understanding the customer base, using influencer relationships to establish trust and validation, and the willingness to experiment with emerging technologies.
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