Twitter’s Shop Module: An  Ecommerce Perspective

By Scarlett Payne  |   August 2, 2021


What Is the  Shop Module?

The Shop Module creates shoppable business profiles via a carousel of products located under a business’s bio. 

How It Works

Consumers can tap on products to learn more and buy from the business’s website – all within the Twitter app. But will it actually benefit ecommerce businesses?

Twitter’s  Second Try at  Ecommerce 

Businesses have reason to be wary. Twitter first invested in ecommerce way back in 2014 when testing a Buy Now button on product-promoting tweets.

Then, in 2015, the company tested a Products and Places feature that functioned as a way for brands and influencers to share product collections. 

What  Happened?

Neither was a success. Twitter dumped both features and disbanded its commerce team. So, why a round two? To help small businesses take advantage of their ad services.

What to Expect 

To start, the rollout of Twitter’s ecommerce features could take a while. In the past, it took a year to make its Buy Now button available to major ecommerce platforms like Shopify.

Then, there’s the fact that Twitter failed before. The platform wasn’t as invested in  ecommerce back then, but is it now? More importantly, will users be interested now when they weren’t before?

Shopping Is Unnatural

People use Twitter to get the latest news and updates, keep up with celebrities and follow the in-the-moment thoughts of people they like (and sometimes ones they don’t).

In other words:

Shopping doesn’t fit into Twitter’s flow.   They would need to maximize the power of influencers and let users use product links when posting about a purchase (if they were so inclined).

It’s Not Visual

Instagram works for online shopping because it’s visual. Brands can post photos, but Twitter’s very nature results in a digital space that looks more like a messaging board.

Users Have  to Visit You

It’s rare for users to visit your profile. Generally, they just scroll through their home feed. To get them to visit, brands would need incentives or tweets worth searching out.

It Won’t Be Free

Twitter said this year that its goal is to double its revenue by 2023. The point of enabling ads and shopping is to make a profit, and Twitter is bound to charge like other platforms.

Who Is Twitter?

With the recent launch of subscriptions and several new features – some of which have failed, including Fleets – Twitter seems to be struggling to find its purpose.