Launched in 2014 in the US, Twitter’s buy button has started disappearing from feeds. Announced last year, this decision is not a surprise. It results from a simple fact: the Twitter buy button didn’t drive enough user conversion. Even though the intent was noteworthy, users never really bought the idea of buying things from a tweet, and brands didn’t either. Basically, people don’t go on Twitter to shop. Not all social media platforms are relevant shopping destinations and despite its efforts, Twitter didn’t manage to get enough credibility.

Why is the Twitter Buy Button disappearing?

As the firm decided it was time to stop its e-commerce operations and change its strategy to implement new ways to earn profit, Shopify customers have started to receive notices that Twitter buy button was about to be removed.

Giving up the Twitter buy button and dismantling its dedicated team will then enable the company to focus on other conversion commerce products. For example their new ad format “Instant Unlock Cards” designed to provoke conversations between brands and users, for the moment only using video content, and might one day integrate sales and promotions.

Does it means social commerce attempt is starting to decline?

What’s the State of Social Commerce?

Pinterest Buy Buttons vs the Twitter Buy Button

Shopping and social media are two of the biggest activities of the internet, so it’s no surprise that people got excited when the two worlds connected with the buy button innovation. Buy buttons are a growing trend with each of the social media leaders obviously wanting to get a piece of the pie. Twitter and Facebook both tested the “buy button”, Pinterest presented it’s blue “Buy it” pin, and Instagram introduced a “Tap to view products” button to ads. Only available for US customers, some of them might reach the world if successful.

When it comes to discern what Pinterest is, people usually think of it as just a nice looking board where they can pin, share interesting products and often get inspiration. From an e-commerce perspective, Pinterest is an extensive sales channel for businesses. Indeed it drives more average order value per sale, than any other social media network online today. Sellers are increasing the rates of new customers, stimulating more sales and observing better mobile conversion rates with Pinterest’s buyable pins.

 

Google “Buy” buttons appears for products searched on mobile devices, overtly intensifying competition with Amazon.com. Shoppers are sent to google product page where they can make the purchase (retailers are still the one taking care of the shipping process). Google really believes its buy button will motivate people to buy on smaller screens.

Google Shopping Buttons

As for Instagram “Tap to view” icon and tags, they bring information about 5 items per image and eventually lead to the checkout page of the partner website, making it easier for users to buy presented items. This feature could eventually lead to video posts and photo carousels.

Instagram Buy Tags

In order to adapt to Instagram image (e.g showcasing beautiful photos) the tags are not too visible to preserve the beauty of images. This way they don’t feel as intrusive as the buy buttons would.

Are “Buy buttons” really working?

Research shows that Millennials are not impulsive shoppers and prefer to compare items before making their purchase which make them less disposed to buy just because the buy button make things easier. Just the fact that the buy button exists doesn’t mean people are willing to use it. Especially because there are questions users ask, like who is taking their payment, the site or the merchant? Is the transaction secured enough?

The model hasn’t been tested by enough people to have confidence in friend’s recommendations. In other words, the buy button has to gain credibility, until then, people will still be more comfortable buying directly from an official seller’s website or app. Even if social media buy buttons are not driving that much conversion and impulse purchases than expected for the moment, the ultimate goal of improving the user experience for shoppers is to make it easier to trigger impulse shopping directly on your site.