Previous attempts by Twitter to make the platform more business and shopping friendly failed miserably.
Twitter, which is well-suited to forming opinions and disseminating information, has yet to solve the online shopping conundrum. On the other hand, the microblogging site has little choice because social platforms rely on shopping for revenue.
In light of this, the company is relaunching a new shopping feature on its platform this weekend. The microblogging app will test a live shopping feature in collaboration with Walmart, which will allow users to purchase products promoted during a real-time video broadcast.
The November 26 event is part of Twitter’s efforts to increase revenue through e-commerce. It’s perfectly timed for the peak shopping season in the United States and other countries.
How Live Shopping stream works
“We are conducting our first test of Live Shopping in collaboration with Walmart, where they will be kicking off Cyber Week with singer, songwriter, dancer and social media superstar Jason Derulo for the first-ever shoppable livestream on Twitter.
Starting at 7pm ET on Sunday, November 28, people can watch and shop from @Walmart (on iOS and desktop), where Jason will host a 30-minute variety show highlighting electronics, home goods, apparel, seasonal décor, surprise special guests and much more.”— Twitter announced
Users will be able to tune into the live broadcast while shopping options are displayed below the video feed, thanks to the app’s live-stream shopping. That is, they can both watch the video and shop at the same time.
While watching the live video, users can browse a product catalog, and when they click to make a purchase, they will be directed to Walmart’s website to complete the transaction.
Twitter’s live shopping interface is split between a video livestream, an online catalog, and a feed of tweets, as shown in promotional images. If you click on a link to a retailer’s website, the stream will continue to play in picture-in-picture mode.
According to the company, the shopping features will initially be available only on iOS and desktop, while Android users will be able to watch the stream but not interact with it.
The Twitter shopping saga
Over the last year, Twitter has experimented with a few different in-stream shopping options. Twitter will roll out the Shop Module to more merchants in the United States in the coming weeks, after testing it with a few brands. The Shop Module also builds on the Professional Profiles initiative, which was launched earlier this year.
Twitter also announced that the Twitter Shopping Manager would be used to test a new way to house merchant onboarding and product catalog management tools. This will provide merchants with a one-stop shop for managing their Twitter presence.
If these new attempts to make shopping work on Twitter fail to pay the required dividends, the platform will be in a bind.
“Livestreaming on Twitter gives businesses the power to engage with their most influential fans, and adding the ability to shop into this experience is a natural extension to attracting and engaging with receptive audiences.”— Twitter
Twitter has been slow to embrace and add e-commerce features in comparison to other social media platforms. The fact that the company is now adding a slew of shopping features indicates that it sees e-commerce as a key part of its long-term strategy.