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Twitter to Soon Open Buy Buttons to Small Merchants

Twitter will make available Buy Buttons to small merchants through an integration with the Shopify ecommerce platform, according to recent reports. Wall Street analyst Bob Peck of SunTrust believes Buy Buttons will roll out to Shopify merchants this fall, “allowing them to sell through tweets.” This is in addition to its advertising offerings, the first of which launched in 2010.

The Buy Buttons would be another push toward monetization. Twitter currently has 100,000 active advertisers on its social networking platform, including small- and medium-sized businesses. On Wednesday, Twitter announced the expansion of its ad platform from 33 countries to over 200 countries and territories. “Now, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from Honduras to Hong Kong can more effectively reach their target audiences on Twitter in 15 languages.”

What’s the value of Twitter to advertisers? Colin Sebastian of Robert W Baird cited some interesting statistics about Twitter: “Every day, the average Twitter user interacts with the site 20 times, making it one of the most heavily used and engaging applications on the web. Twitter is a leading global social media platform with a growing and engaged user-base, including 308 million monthly active users (MAUs), and more than 100 million daily active users (DAUs).”

Twitter first began testing Buy Buttons in Sept 2014. While integrating with Shopify will make the buttons more accessible to smaller merchants, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee their availability. Sellers learned that lesson after Pinterest integrated its Buy Buttons with Shopify, with some finding that Pinterest rejected their applications, as we wrote in this newsletter last week.

In his recent report, SunTrust’s Peck said ecommerce is an attractive opportunity for Twitter to raise overall monetization, noting Buy Buttons are already on Pinterest and Facebook. “Assuming a 1.5% CTR, 10% conversion rate, and 10% take rate, E-Commerce could provide a 2% lift to revenue.”

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Analysts speculated on a Twitter acquisition, with SunTrust saying Google and Facebook would make the most strategic and financial sense as acquirers. It also names other potential but less likely acquirers, including Alibaba, which it sees as more likely to be an investor (same for Softbank and Tencent)

There is a lot going on with Twitter – it will soon integrate with Doubleclick to help advertisers purchase ads and measure performance. And it will launch Project Lightening “to bring event-based curated content to the Twitter platform, complete with immersive and instant-load photos and videos and the ability to embed those experiences across the Web – and even in other apps.”

In the meantime, merchants who wish to advertise via Twitter can learn more at Ads.Twitter.com

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.