- Twitter is testing Shop Module, a space at the top of a business profile that showcases products via a carousel, according to a company blog post. The Shop Module allows consumers to tap on a product to learn more and make an in-app purchase without leaving Twitter.
- Nike, Walmart, Disney, Patagonia, GameStop, Google, podcast Latinx in Power and retailer Arden Cove are among the brands piloting the Shop Module, per a Twitter spokesperson. IOS users in the U.S. who use Twitter in English will be able to access the module first.
- With Shop Module, Twitter joins social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest that have added features to tap into increased e-commerce activity. Twitter previously experimented with a "Buy" button, but dropped it in 2017.
Twitter is getting back in the e-commerce game with its Shop Module, providing brands a way to shorten the sales funnel on its platform. While it is already a growing channel for brands, e-commerce is one of the trends that made gains during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The shift from physical stores to digital shopping accelerated roughly five years due to the pandemic, per IBM U.S. Retail Index data cited by TechCrunch.
While Twitter's last attempt at e-commerce features didn't take off and was eventually scuttled, in-app e-commerce features are increasingly table stakes for social platforms. Facebook last year beefed up e-commerce capabilities for brands across its main app, Instagram and WhatsApp, and Pinterest has continued to boost its shopping experience with shop tabs and a verified merchant program. As with other features, Snapchat was an early mover, expanding e-commerce features to all marketers in 2018.
Along with the in-app features, Twitter is working to build up its relationships with brands. To that end, it launched Professional Profiles earlier this year, and the Shop Module will only be available to brands with such profiles, Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch. As part of the Shop Module announcement, it also established a Merchant Advisory Board that will consist of top brands on the platform.
"We believe in the power of the conversations that Twitter facilitates around products. With this pilot, we'll get to explore how our engaged, responsive and chatty audience reacts to products that are emotionally charged — like a new jersey from your favorite sports team — or that provide lasting impact — like a new skincare regimen," product lead Bruce Falck wrote in the blog post.
The e-commerce pilot comes as Twitter recently reported strong second-quarter earnings, with revenue rising 74% YoY to $1.19 billion. The platform added 7 million average monetizable daily active users for a total of 206 million. Twitter has experimented with new features to increase engagement among consumers and brands, including a product called Spaces that seeks to tap into interest around live audio. However, it also recently announced it would end Fleets, its attempt to replicate the disappearing content functionality popularized by Snapchat and Instagram.