While mobile devices represent 60% of browsing traffic, they only account for 15% of purchasing. Twitter’s new “buy now” button aims to change that. Here’s what all e-commerce sellers need to know.
Although we’re still in the early days of purchases coming from mobile devices, there’s clear potential for online retailers to do some pretty exciting things with Twitter’s new “buy now” feature.
In-app “buy buttons” provide an instant purchase experience for your customers from any mobile device. This kind of seamless, “in-app” purchasing is the wave of the future for e-commerce sellers.
Instagram advertising, Buyable Pins, Google AdWords — it seems like every week there’s a new “game-changing” announcement from one internet giant or another.
Two months ago the spotlight was on Twitter and the widespread rollout of its “buy now” button — just in time for the holiday shopping season. Could this feature be the next big thing in mobile? Well, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
The question is: how easy is it for retailers to incorporate this new feature into their current mobile marketing strategies?
So What Is the “Buy Now” Button, Exactly?
After more than a year of testing, Twitter has expanded its U.S.-only “buy now” service to thousands of merchants. With the “buy now” button, customers can make purchases directly on Twitter.com and through its mobile app.
The button feature can be added to both organic and promoted tweets — along with key product information such as price, description, and photos.
What’s more, Twitter’s new partnership with online payment processor Stripe allows Twitter users to complete “In-Tweet” purchases without having to be redirected to outside websites.
This is huge for mobile commerce (a.k.a. “m-commerce”).
Stripe’s new API, Relay, allows for seamless integration with Twitter’s “buy now” functionality. Merchants can publish product information via Stripe’s dashboard or by linking their existing e-commerce systems (Shopify, Hybris, Demandware, and Bigcommerce are currently supported).
Interested in reading more about Relay? The nitty-gritties are explained in this excellent blog post by Stripe engineer Siddarth Chandrasekaran.
The “buy now” button can be added to both organic and promoted tweets — along with key product information such as price, description, and photos.
Amp Up Your Twitter Ad Game
These days, social media users are tuning out and turning away from ads that appear in their timelines and newsfeeds. So how do you get relevant content in front of the right audience?
Tailor-Make Your Tweets
Try adding the “buy now” button to your organic tweets. Attract attention by mentioning your best-selling items or upcoming product releases. Better yet, make strategic choices using Tailored Audiences.
You can create custom-made lists of users based on their purchase data and browsing history, upload the stats to Twitter, and target your followers with personalized content at each stage of the customer lifecycle.
Recover Cart Abandoners
Many retailers have started sending “abandoned cart” emails. Twitter ads may prove equally effective in recouping lost purchases. Simply remind them of what they’ve abandoned and make it easy to link back to their shopping cart.
Remember that most customers abandon their carts because the final price is higher than what they expected (or the online purchase process is less than ideal). Offering a discount code may turn a “maybe later” into a “yes now.”
Insider Tip: Twitter allows you to upload an email list you currently have and will deliver tweets in-feed to any twitter profiles that match up (for a small ad fee). This is a great way to track down customers you may have missed on other channels.
It is critical to encourage repeat purchases — especially for customers who’ve bought consumable items. Be sure to retarget them around the time you’d expect them to run out of certain products. The “buy now” button makes it even simpler to create relevant product ads and win back lapsed customers — or cross-sell related items.
E-commerce purchases from mobile devices may be small-ish now, but it’s essential that you begin to up your learning curve around making it easy for your customers to purchase from any device.
As new advertising features continue to be revealed across multiple social media (read: mobile) platforms, you may feel overwhelmed by the online retail rat race. But don’t lose sight of your long-term goals.
By targeting specific customers with precisely the right mix of content and sales messages (i.e. build long-term relationships with your customers, don’t always hard-sell) you’re sure to come out on top of the mobile commerce game.
And with proper attention to your customer journey, Twitter’s “buy now” button might just be the ideal solution.
By Hannah Stacey, marketing manager at Ometria — a customer insight and marketing automation tool built for retailers.