Twitter is launching a pilot in the US this morning aimed at testing the potential of e-commerce on its platform. The company is introducing a new “Store Module” that offers brands, companies and other retailers the ability to display their products to Twitter users directly on the company profile. Users will then be able to scroll through a carousel of product images in the module and touch a product that they are interested in purchasing. This opens the company’s website within the Twitter application itself, where the customer can learn more about the product in question and choose to make a purchase.
The store module will appear in a new dedicated space at the top of a supported Twitter profile, which can be viewed by US users in English on iOS devices.
The company tells TechCrunch that only companies with a professional profile will be able to use the feature at this time.
Professional profiles, which started testing in april, give businesses, nonprofits, publishers, and creators the ability to display specific information about their business directly on their profile, including details like your address, phone number, hours of operation, and more. Essentially, it is Twitter’s equivalent of something like a Facebook page for a business.
At launch, the new store module will be available only to a small group of pilot testers. Besides the game retailer @GameStop and travel brand @ArdenCove, Twitter says there will only be about 10 other brands in the lifestyle, traditional retail, gaming, media and entertainment, technology and telecommunications industries that will gain access to the new feature.
Currently, Twitter does not offer a way for interested companies to sign up for the pilot, as the company is only in the early stages of testing this feature, he says.
While Twitter users often discuss products in the app and even contact businesses directly for help with purchases, it is unclear whether users will view Twitter as a shopping platform.
With the pilot, Twitter aims to better understand what could help you make that change, by tracking what types of products are driving traffic to online retailers. For example, you want to determine whether people are inspired by online conversations in the heat of the moment, such as sports fans shopping for team apparel, or whether Twitter users could be encouraged to make purchases of more impact. long-lasting, like new skin care products. routine. Having a diverse lineup of early pilot testers will help the company compare data across verticals to find out what works best.
Twitter says it will also work directly with businesses to better understand their needs by creating a new Merchant Advisory Board, consisting of “best-in-class” examples of merchants on Twitter.
The company earlier this year had mentioned its plans to expand into e-commerce.
“We are … beginning to explore ways to better support commerce on Twitter,” said Bruce Falck, Twitter Revenue Leader, during the event. “We know that people come to Twitter to interact with brands and talk about their favorite products. In fact, you may have noticed that some companies are already developing creative ways to enable sales on our platform, ”he continued.
“This lawsuit gives us confidence in the power to combine real-time conversation with an engaged and purposeful audience. Imagine easily discovering and quickly buying a new skincare product or fashion sneaker from a brand you follow with just a few clicks, ”added Falck.
Since then, Twitter has tested a new ecommerce feature for tweets, which allowed businesses to link to online product pages, like those in a Shopify store, for example.
Ned Segal, Chief Financial Officer of Twitter also promoted the potential to buy on Twitter by speaking to investors at JP Morgan’s technology, media and communications conference in May, noting that people “do a lot of research on Twitter before they buy something.”
Twitter’s entry into online shopping comes at a time when major tech companies and social platforms are increasing their investments in e-commerce. Facebook has made significant strides in e-commerce with shopping features throughout Facebook, Instagram Y WhatsApp, even with initiatives such as online storefronts, integrated check, product drops, video shopping, and more.
It’s worth noting that Twitter previously tried to run a business operation and failed. In 2017, the company began reducing its “Buy” button product., which had allowed Twitter users to click to make purchases, and the retail associations associated with that effort due to a lack of traction. Clearly, the company believes that the time has come to try again.