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Twitter gets into eCommerce offering with 'Shops'

Twitter gets into eCommerce offering with 'Shops'

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Twitter has made a move into the eCommerce space with the roll out a beta experiment for Twitter Shops, allowing merchants to showcase up to 50 products to shoppers on the platform. The feature is free for use, and offers users an opportunity to view products from the profiles of their favourite brands. 

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When users visit a merchant's profile with Twitter Shops enabled, they will be greeted with a "View shop" button above their tweets and a tap allows the user to scroll through the items. Unlike Instagram Shops though, the transactions will not take place on the platform. Once a user is ready to purchase the item, it will open an in-app browser where one can learn more about the product and checkout on the merchant's website. 

Similar to its other shopping features such as the Shop Module, Live Shopping and Shopping Manager, Twitter Shops is part of a larger effort to better support professionals of all kinds. According to Twitter, these professionals range from small businesses and creators to big brands. Twitter initially rolled out its Shop Module feature in July 2021, allowing businesses to showcase their products in a dedicated space at the top of a profile.

With Shop Module, users are able to visit a profile with the Shop Module enabled, scroll through the carousel of products and tap through on a single product to learn more and purchase seamlessly in an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter. While Shop Module allows merchants to showcase up to five products directly on its profile, Twitter Shops gives merchants a larger, fully-immersive space to highlight a longer catalogue of products. 

Twitter said it wants Twitter Shops to be the home for merchants on Twitter where they can intentionally curate a catalogue of products for their Twitter audience and build upon the product discussions already happening on its platform by giving shoppers a point of action where a conversation can become a purchase.

Over the past year, the platform has been aggressively launching products such as creator tools, subscription products,  NFT avators, live audio and many others.  However, while Twitter has solidified its position as a broadcast platform, how eCommerce will play into its DNA is yet to be seen given its text heavy nature – in contrast to the likes of YouTube and Instagram. But, the potential social commerce holds is one which is hard to ignore. In Southeast Asia alone, data by Bain & co have said that social commerce accounts for close to half (44%) of the region’s US$109 billion e-commerce market in 2020. Meanwhile, according to Insider Intelligence, in 2022, US social commerce sales are expected to reach US$45.74 billion with over half of the adults in the country making a purchase through social media.

During Twitter’s Q4 2021 earnings call, CEO Parag Agrawal listed the testing for shopping and commerce as one of the new products that Twitter is iterating on “at a rapid cadence”, alongside Spaces, communities, newsletters, professional accounts, and creator monetisation efforts.

“All of these come together to enable an ecosystem of products that enable content creators, publishers and businesses of all sizes to build and connect with their audience,” he added. Twitter posted over US$5 billion in annual revenue in Q4 2021, up 37% for the year. It also witnessed a leadership change when Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO last year, handing over the reins to Agrawal.

Photo courtesy: 123RF 

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