June 23, 2015
Twitter is trying to take shopping to a new level. The company has rolled out product and place pages that allow users to discover and purchase items within the service. This is the second strategic move by Twitter to boost social commerce. The company has rolled out the buy button last fall. But why is Twitter introducing a product page? Previously, the one-click purchasing option was only available on some promoted tweets, which means people who are new to this concept will refrain from buying. The implementation of product and place pages will provide more information and content. This is a conscious effort from Twitter to turn into a shopping destination.
The new pages will organize related tweets about products and brands on dedicated pages. If a user looks at a product page, he or she will be able to see the tweets of other users about the product, prices, etc.
Brands and celebrities can curate products and recommend them to followers. Demi Lovato, Reese Witherspoon and Nike are few of the 41 partners that have curated collections for the service so far. The collection feature seems more about browsing for products, whereas the product page is aimed at providing product-related information.
Collections and product pages have started to roll out on the web, iOS, and Android. Twitter says it will be testing more commerce experiments in the days to come.
Earlier this month, social bookmarking site Pinterest introduced buy buttons, in order to gain additional revenue. The new move from Twitter is a clear indication that the social commerce market is gaining steam. In 2014, the global social commerce market was estimated to be USD 20 billion and is expected to reach USD 30 billion by the end of 2015.
In the years to come, social commerce will become more widespread and the level of personalization will improve. Although there are thousands of companies trying to gain a strong foothold in social commerce, the players who have a strong user base like Twitter and Facebook only has the potential to succeed. Within the next five years, it is likely that social media platforms will develop full-blown commerce solutions which will allow users to view products, read reviews and even make payments. Redirecting to external sites will become a thing of the past.
The only cause of worry for the social commerce players will be the strong dependence of social influence and the power of trust which will still work as key factors for the success of social commerce.