People no longer just Google things they want to buy. They find answers through social media trendsetters, conversations in DMs and suggestions from their network. The shopping tide is changing to social commerce, which is predicted to grow three times as fast as traditional commerce between now and 2025.
But where does Twitter (rebranded as “X”) fit into the social commerce landscape, and who is buying on Twitter?
To answer this, we reviewed Twitter’s latest ecommerce features and looked to brands mastering them. We also explain how you can leverage these features to sell on Twitter and best practices to get started.
This guide will cover:
- Twitter ecommerce features you need to know
- Examples of Twitter shopping in action
- 4 tips for getting started with Twitter ecommerce
Twitter ecommerce features you need to know
Twitter has rolled out four ecommerce features: Shops, Spotlights, Live Shopping and Product Drops.
1. Twitter Shops
Merchants can use Twitter Shops to showcase up to 50 products from their online stores. A Twitter shop is accessible via a “View Shop” button on your profile. This free, mobile-first feature aims to convert brand enthusiasts to buyers on the platform.
However, the payment option for these shops isn’t hosted on Twitter. The checkout link will take customers to your website or app, where they’ll fill in their details to complete their purchase.
2. Shop Spotlight
The Shop Spotlight is a carousel on your profile that features five products in your Twitter Shop. Shoppers can swipe through the carousel and tap on products to learn more.
Shop Spotlight is a part of Twitter’s larger effort around Professional Profiles, expanding the dedicated space for businesses and creators with ecommerce features that drive engagement and revenue.
3. Live Shopping
Host a Live Shopping broadcast for followers to buy alongside—like an infomercial. The engagement and shopping options are displayed below the video stream, which include:
- A “Shop” banner and tab on the event’s page featuring all the products from the broadcast.
- The “Latest” tab where new products show up as they appear on the live stream.
- A live Tweet discussion about the product(s) that takes place underneath the live stream.
— Jason Derulo (@jasonderulo) November 29, 2021
4. Product Drops
Product Drops are to Twitter shopping as trailers are to movies. Show potential customers a sneak peek of products and drum up anticipation before they officially launch. You can also track which user profiles engage with the drop to inform future advertising and marketing initiatives. Early brands testing this feature include Dior, The Home Depot and Union Los Angeles.
To our US clients on iOS devices, click the "reminder" button for a product drop alert! You will be notified when the Dior by Birkenstock mule is made available, so keep an eye on the launch.#DiorBirkenstockhttps://t.co/rR5AQeN47F
— Dior (@Dior) June 10, 2022
Product Drop Tweets show up as regular Tweets on a user’s feed. Users can also set a product reminder, notifying them when it goes on sale.
This Twitter shopping feature is currently limited to iOS in the US.
Now that we’ve covered Twitter’s ecommerce features, let’s look at ways you can use them to expand your brand’s presence and generate revenue on the platform.
Examples of Twitter shopping in action
Whatever your product or service, direct-to-consumer brands can benefit from integrating their creative content streams—videos, live streams or carousels—with Twitter’s ecommerce features. Whether you’re an established brand or just starting out, the platform’s ecommerce features make it easy to begin.
Let’s look at brands selling out fast on Twitter:
Founded by drag start Trixi Mattel, Trixie Cosmetics sells premium cosmetics in vibrant, whimsical packaging.
Trixie’s Twitter strategy is distinct through their use of scavenger hunts, quizzes and behind-the-scenes content to drive engagement while featuring their products. To get their audience to actually buy, Trixie uses Shop Spotlights to launch new collections and builds hype around them through Tweets.
MOVE, WE’RE GAY 🌈 Celebrate the joys of homosexuality with this stunning lip gloss bundle ($96) that included 6 of your old faves plus new arrival, Hi Gay! (a sheer gloss with rainbow reflect glitter✨) available Friday at 10am pt! pic.twitter.com/8i21e1lqqg
— Trixie Cosmetics (@TrixieCosmetics) June 1, 2022
By leveraging Twitter’s full stack of features, Trixie is able to create a seamless brand and buying experience, building brand credibility and authenticity while promoting products. Look at your current Twitter strategy and identify ways to expand upon it with Twitter ecommerce tools.
Use Live Shopping to host tutorials with influencers or share behind-the-scenes content, like Trixie’s warehouse tours and customer spotlights.
Twitter Spotlights can double as pop-up sales introducing limited-edition products, seasonal specials or influencer collaborations to ignite excitement and give a special reason to buy now.
Arden Cove is a brand selling theft-resistant travel bags and accessories—empowering women to travel without the fear of being pick-pocketed.
Their consistent posting schedule paired with proactive customer engagement allowed them to integrate Twitter Shops seamlessly. With special discounts available through their Twitter Shop, customers can enjoy a unique experience while shopping in the app. Plus, their live streams amplify special products and give customers the chance to interact directly with the brand.
Less than 30 min away from our Livestream #Giveaways!
We are decorating a cake to close out our anniversary week, and sharing fun stories from running or business for the last 5 years.
RSVP here 👇https://t.co/YB8uMnfF3t
— Arden Cove (@ArdenCove) October 17, 2021
Skip the shipping madness & order early!
Check out the great #BlackFriday deals we have on our amazing Anti-theft Water Resistant Travel Bags & Accessories
— Arden Cove (@ArdenCove) November 20, 2021
Arden Cove creates compelling content that keeps their audience engaged throughout their buying journey, from inspiration and aspiration to conversion. Focus on converting your aspirational Twitter content into direct sales. Spark interest with live streams featuring your products or Q&As with experts, then drive excitement with Product Drops of coveted items. The previews, reminders and limited-time offers will encourage conversion.
All I Do Is Cook
This brand sells ready-to-eat African food products, using Twitter to inspire their audience with recipes that incorporate their ingredients. All I Do is Cook takes it a step further by selling their recipe ingredients directly to customers via Twitter shopping features.
Their structured Twitter Shop is segmented into categories—such as Snacks, Sides and Stews and Soups—to help buyers effectively navigate products.
Their strategy features a guided approach that ushers customers to their products based on interests, reducing friction on the path to conversion. Turning their Twitter Shop into more than a store, but a shopping guide.
Organize your products to make everything easy to find, then layer in other Twitter features so your customers can quickly find the latest products.
Now that we’ve seen how brands are creatively strategizing for Twitter ecommerce, the next question is: How do you get started?
4 tips for getting started with Twitter ecommerce
Before you dive in to your first sale, here are some things to keep in mind when building your Twitter ecommerce strategy:
1. Start small
Don’t feel the need to incorporate all of these features at once. Identify which would make the most sense for your audience and brand. Consider who follows you on the platform and what they’d be most interested in purchasing. Then start with offering products that align with those interests.
If you have more than 50 products to sell, Twitter Shops can double up as “Bestseller” or “Last few pieces” lists for popular items that sell fast.
Twitter Spotlight is well-suited for featuring signature products that are integral to your brand’s identity, such as the Louis Vuitton tote or MAC Cosmetics’ Ruby Woo lipstick.
2. Collaborate with influencers
Twitter has its own band of influencers who are trusted by their communities. Find influencers who echo your values and collaborate with them to host Live Shopping events or co-tweet Product Drops to expose your brand to a larger audience.
3. Integrate ads
Twitter’s algorithm places ads where it makes the most sense in a feed—between actual conversations about products. This is why Product Drops can integrate naturally with Twitter’s conversational ads. Remember to create your ads and Product Drop content in the same brand style for a consistent experience.
4. Align with trends
Twitter is one of the epicenters of conversation around the latest news and trends, and users are also not afraid to share their opinions about brands and products on the platform. Listening to these conversations can uncover content and promotional opportunities relevant to your target customers and products. Leverage Twitter listening data to unearth relevant trends and weave them into your Product Drop content, live streams and more.
Embrace Twitter ecommerce
Twitter ecommerce is not limited to brands that are already popular on the platform. These features can help brands of all sizes start selling directly on the platform. Find your niche and nurture your community with the content and products they want and need.
To learn more about expanding your ecommerce strategy on Twitter and beyond, read our 2022 Social Shopping Data Report.
Use of Twitter nomenclature across Sprout refers to newly rebranded X platform and related terminology.
10 Twitter automation tools for your brand in 2024Published on November 22, 2023 Reading time 7 minutes
How to create a Twitter marketing strategy for your brandPublished on September 8, 2023 Reading time 11 minutes
How to use Twitter advanced search to get more leads for your brandPublished on July 24, 2023 Reading time 8 minutes
Twitter analytics: How to analyze and improve your Twitter dataPublished on July 18, 2023 Reading time 11 minutes