Three Reasons to Think Twice about Twitter’s “Buy” Button
The introduction of social media features is barely news-worthy anymore, such is their frequency. When Twitter recently announced that it was testing a “buy” button, to bolster its position as an e-commerce platform however, we took note. As did a number of brands using the network as a marketing channel.
Teaming up with online payments service, Stripe, Twitter is aiming to “reduce friction” between a company’s promotion and the eventual transaction. Whilst it could prove to be a lucrative new tool for brands (not to mention another revenue generator for Twitter), delve a little deeper and there are some potentially significant risks involved, which is why we’ve assessed three potentially significant issues of Twitter’s latest innovation.
Lost opportunities for cross-selling
Whilst tweets might be limited to 140 characters, they do of course allow you to include photos of products you wish to promote, as well as directly link to the pages they sit within on your site. Requesting that your audience follow these is not a big ask and upon arriving on your website you have the opportunity to up-sell and cross-sell, something that would be lost with selling directly from Twitter.
Essentially, selling directly from Twitter wreaks havoc with the customer path to purchase. This can be a delicate and complex journey and skipping vital stages will not be without repercussions. Above all else people are unlikely to give up research and comparison for the sake of convenience.
Whilst Twitter’s “buy” button could be worth its weight in gold for events, tickets or money-off reductions- for most other goods, especially everyday items, it’s unlikely to make big waves. Without the urgency of limited stock or time, most people aren’t likely to turn to social media networks to do their shopping.
There is little evidence to suggest that this is what people are searching for from their social platforms. Facebook has been criticised more than once for having its finger in too many pies, branching out in so many directions it is in danger of losing its identity. By comparison, much of Twitter’s success appears to lie in its loyalty to its original niche offering.
Trust could be the biggest barrier in Twitter’s new venture. E commerce is never without consumer security fears, and going straight in with the hard sell without first building up a relationship could drive potential customers away and be harmful in the long term.
In order to instil enough trust in its users to part with their card details simply to make a transaction quicker, Twitter will have to work extremely hard. Whilst the benefits of Twitter’s buy button are clearly visible, ultimately consumers will need to use it enough to warrant the costs and security risks and at the moment there are more than a few reasons why this might not happen.
By Ben Austin, CEO of Absolute Digital Media.