Daily Dose of iQ: Twitter Testing a 'Buy' Button of Its Own

Sep 08, 2014 — Joan Gurney

About 6 weeks ago (July 21), we blogged about Facebook launching a "buy" button. Today, the WSJ reported Twitter is testing a similar button.

Social media sites are clamoring to offer integrated e-commerce. Using social media as a means of marketing products makes complete sense. It feeds into a sense of "see it, want it, gotta have it" mentality. It’s a chance to introduce people to brands they might not know about and capture their interest.

Social commerce makes complete sense; it feeds the 'see it, want it, gotta have it' mentality.

There are brands and advertisements popping up on my Facebook feed all the time that I never would have found anywhere else. Sometimes they capture my interest, sometimes not, but it’s delivered to me in relation to what my friends are sharing and liking, and I can see what’s popular or relevant. The same goes with Twitter and Pinterest. I can follow people/brands that I am interested in and be delivered curated content.

Personally I’m not a very active Twitter user. I use it more to share things than I do for reading other people’s tweets, so for me I don’t know that I would really use a twitter ‘buy’ button. That being said, I use Pinterest a lot and would be more inclined to click a ‘buy’ button there. I think it’s just a matter of targeting the places that people are looking at. If I was a more active Twitter user and I saw something that I really liked, I think I would be inclined to click the buy button, or at least go to the retailer’s website and see what else they had to offer, especially if the purchasing flow was quick and easy.

In an unrelated story, Mashable today wrote about the new Adobe Mobile Benchmark Report, which found that Tumber outpaced all other social networks (namely Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest - in decreasing order) in revenue per visit (see below image).


I can see Tumblr’s revenue per visit being potentially higher if the ads targeted on the blogs reflect the content of the blog. Each blogger is already creating curated content targeted to a specific user base and if those ads line up with their content, then I would expect to see higher revenue from those targeted ads. Also, given the nature of the content, I believe users are more likely to spend more time on Tumblr than they are on Twitter or Facebook. Twitter and Facebook are more about speed scrolling for updates whereas Tumblr is more about the content and a user would be more likely to spend more time on a given page digesting that content because it’s something of interest to them.

Tumblr users likely spend more time perusing content compared to when they use Twitter or Facebook.

I think people assume Pinterest would have a high revenue per visit but I often find when I pin something it’s because I want to check it out later and then I forget about it and don’t go back to it. I also find that a lot of pins result in dead links or don’t necessarily lead me to a path to purchase. I just don’t think it’s as good for purchasing items as it is for just capturing things that are visually interesting. At least not yet, that is.

Looking at the above graphic, I feel like there is a decrease in revenue rates on smartphones simply because of the form factor. I generally find it easier browsing products and making purchases online from either a tablet or a PC just because its easier to type and navigate on a larger screen. If I’m making an online purchase I usually want to jump around and check things like shipping rate and return policies and it just gets tedious doing it on a small screen. I’m also generally more inclined to use a tablet over a PC because I carry it with me more and it's lighter and more portable than my laptop.

Topics: Mobile Industry, Customer Experience, e-Commerce, Retail Marketing

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