Is There a Commerce Opportunity Waiting for Twitter?

Twitter logoThis morning Twitter just added the ability to create curated timelines around topics, themes, brands, shows and so on. Undoubtedly there will be marketing and promotional opportunities that will emerge from this.

As the company is compelled by investors to show growth in user engagement and revenues it will need to roll out new ad units or monetization scenarios. One of those could certainly be e-commerce or commerce-related. Early on Dell, Woot and others used their Twitter streams to announce products for sale or discounts. For Dell, among others, this was pretty effective.

Twitter recently has been showing “brand” ads with larger images. Here’s an example of one for a movie:

Twitter graphical ads

Yesterday I saw another of these ads but with a more interesting call to action:

Levi's Twitter

Here’s another one from today:

Twitter ads

These are, presumably, just Promoted Tweets. But they make me think there’s some sort of e-commerce opportunity that Twitter could seize upon. Just off the top of my head it might look like this:

  • Branded sites (Pinterest-like) hosted on Twitter with promoted merchandise (one click down from the stream)
  • Twitter processes the transaction, with consumer credit card information on file (might require buying a company)
  • Charges a fee to retailer or brand for the branded microsite and a card processing fee for the transactions

That would all be a leap from where Twitter is today and it might be perceived as too removed from Twitter’s model, without a sufficiently large enough revenue opportunity. But I think there’s something interesting there . . .

What do you think about this idea or the opportunity for “Twitter commerce” in general?

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2 Responses to “Is There a Commerce Opportunity Waiting for Twitter?”

  1. Kevin says at

    Not trying to be negative nelly here, but don’t marketers usually bombard users so much with any new ad medium that it could potentially ruin the Twitter experience? If Twitter becomes a stream of two bits of content, followed by one bit of paid advertising, I can see the herd beginning to move to *something else*

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    You’re correct. Would have to be done carefully. But think of it like email marketing. Twitter is going to have to fill up the stream with more ads (like FB) to generate more revenue. Might be interesting to diversify with actionable stuff.

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