Twitter is testing a dedicated space at the top of a profile where businesses can showcase products.
The social media platform is launching a pilot of a new feature called “Shop Module.” When consumers visit a profile with Shop Module enabled, they can scroll through a carousel of products and tap through on a single item to learn more and purchase seamlessly in an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter.
Twitter is starting the pilot with a small number of brands in the U.S. Consumers in the U.S. who use Twitter in English on iOS devices will be able to see the Shop Module. Shop Module marks the company’s return to in-app shopping following its previous tests in the mid-2010s of e-commerce features such as the “Buy Now” button, product pages, and product collections.
As a result of this pilot, Twitter intends to explore how its audience reacts to products that are emotionally charged, such a new jersey from a favorite sports team; or that provide lasting impact, such as a skincare product. The company also hopes to improve its understanding about which shopping experiences consumers prefer on Twitter.
With Shop Module, Twitter is building upon its Professional Profiles offering, which it started introducing earlier this year. Leveraging modular components for Professional Profiles, businesses across the globe will have access to customized profiles with features intended to help drive engagement and business outcomes.
In addition, Twitter is building a new Merchant Advisory Board. The board will consist of brands that have established themselves as best-in-class examples of merchants on Twitter. With their partnership, the company hopes to more easily address the needs of businesses of any size or vertical with its product innovation.
“Stay tuned,” Bruce Falck, revenue product lead at Twitter, said in a corporate blog post. “Though we are in very early explorations, we’re excited about the potential of shopping on Twitter and eager to learn more as we go.
Greg Sterling, VP of insights at marketing location platform Uberall, told Chain Store Age that Shop Module may prove to be a winning initiative for Twitter.
“This has the capacity to be quite successful for both Twitter and brands with meaningful followings -- that's the key,” stated Sterling. “The analogy is shoppable posts on Instagram, which are working quite well for Individual brands. In the past, companies such as Dell and Woot (Amazon) have had e-commerce success using Twitter to promote sales and then linked to product pages on their sites where consumers could buy the promoted items.”