As part of its ongoing effort to expand into ecommerce, Twitter today announced a new partnership with Shopify. Through the deal, Twitter is launching a sales channel app that will be made available to all Shopify’s US merchants through the app store. The app allows merchants to onboard themselves on Twitter’s Shopping Manager, the offered dashboard by the social media company where merchants can access product catalog tools and enable other shopping features for their profiles.
The news follows Twitter’s recent launches of store-related features, including this month’s introduction of a “Product Drops” feature, and Twitter’s previous launches of mobile storefronts and live-stream shopping. Meanwhile, Shopify says orders placed through partner integrations, such as Twitter, quadrupled in the first quarter of 2022.
Merchants can use the new sales channels app to link their Twitter account to their Shopify admin and then get started with Twitter’s Shopping Manager and other free tools Twitter built for ‘professionals’. This includes Twitter’s launch of a new feature called Location Spotlight, announced earlier this month, that will allow local businesses in the US, Canada, UK and Australia to display information such as their address, contact details and hours of operation directly on their profile.
Currently, merchants can enable Twitter Shops, a Shop Spotlight, or a Location Spotlight. But the company told us it’s working on giving merchants the ability to enable more than one of these features at the same time.
After linking their Shopify and Twitter accounts, merchants can use the new app to sync their product catalogs with Twitter. This saves a lot of time and energy, as before, when the inventory had to be entered manually on the Twitter platform. As their Shopify catalog changes, they also sync with Twitter’s Shopping Manager.
A previous user of this feature, @TrixieCosmeticsagreed that this was an improvement.
“The Twitter sales channel makes it faster and easier to meet our customers wherever they are. The automatic sync is going to help us save so much time, and the sales channel allows me to easily connect the two platforms we already use to sell products and interact with customers,” said Jessica Stevens, Senior Social Media Manager of Trixie Cosmetics. in the announcement.
When inventory is synced, merchants can use Twitter Shops and Shop in the spotlight features to help customers discover their products on the social media platform and make purchases. Those transactions take place on the merchant’s own website. As a result, Twitter Shops and Shop Spotlight are also now exiting beta testing and will be made available to all sellers in the US, Twitter said.
“Reaching potential customers where they are is critical to the success of Shopify merchants,” said Amir Kabbara, Director of Product at Shopify, in a statement. “Twitter is where conversations happen, and the connection between conversations and commerce is vital. Through our partnership with Twitter and the launch of the Twitter sales channel, merchants can seamlessly add commerce to the conversations they already have on the platform,” Kabbara added.
Twitter sees the potential to bring more ecommerce brands to Twitter as the same companies also make up a significant portion of Twitter’s advertiser base. if the company explained last year it aims to help people buy things on Twitter because it also helps advertisers find their customers and maintain those relationships.
Unlike Meta’s e-commerce efforts, where many retail transactions take place in-app using Meta’s proprietary payment system Meta Pay (formerly Facebook Pay), Twitter directs users’ clicks to brands’ own websites. However, Meta has a more developed ecommerce strategy, giving “Shops” its own tab in the Instagram app. Twitter Shops, on the other hand, are not centralized in such a way – they can be found on the Twitter profiles of individual companies.
Then we also think of commerce. Helping people buy things on Twitter. We want to think very carefully about how we do this so that we help advertisers find their customers and maintain that relationship with the customer. $TWTR
— Twitter Investor Relations (@TwitterIR) March 3, 2021
Twitter also highlighted the potential for e-commerce today when it noted that in 2021 there were 6.5 billion tweets mentioning businesses on its platform. allowing those customers to then complete the transaction via Twitter makes sense as the next step.
The company declined to share how many brands were testing the Shopify app before its launch, nor how many companies have now adopted Twitter Shops.
The Twitter partnership was one of Shopify’s many product announcements today, as part of its new biannual showcase, Editions, where it will continue to share its latest commerce innovations. The company also announced ties to other major tech companies Apple and Google related to Tap to Pay on iPhone and local inventory on Google, among others.