Twitter on a shopping spree

Online shopping growth is easy to understand – who doesn’t love coveting item after item from the comfort of their own bed? So Twitter has jumped on the bandwagon with a run of serious purchases of its own.

We’re predicted to up our online spending this year to a staggering £107 billion.  What they’re now calling ‘social shopping’ is on the rise, and it looks as though we might be able to buy directly from our Twitter feeds.

Twitter already lets users add items to their Amazon shopping cart at the touch of a button, giving brands the opportunity to promote exclusive offers to its followers.

There was a huge buzz among the Twitterati recently when ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Shop Now’ buttons were glimpsed temporarily, though the latter was still sending users to other sites for their final purchase.

Twitter reported of a net loss of £78 million in the first quarter of 2014, so it really need to up its game when it comes to building revenue. With 90% of its income coming from advertising, providing brands with more ways to spend cash is a step in the right direction.

Twitter has been flashing the cash on e-commerce sites recently, spending a whopping $100 million on TapCommerce a few weeks ago, and likely the same again buying CardSpring recently. This screams ‘in-platform buying’ becoming a real possibility for brands.

This could mean Twitter posts might feature special products and ranges that brands particularly want to promote with the added incentive of one-click purchasing.

For the user it could result in an inundation of tedious ‘Buy Now’ ads, a bit of a step backward for social media advertising.

One possible win-win would be exclusivity. In this case, only followers of the brand would see the post, and the item would only be available via Twitter.

It could work well. After all, we do love being part of an inside group – even if the group involves millions of other people.  And that change could be a bonus for consumers, brands and – of course – for Twitter.