Advertisers, retailers, ecommerce shops and other consumer-focused businesses rejoiced earlier this month as news broke that Twitter was launching a “Buy Now” button. Currently a mobile-only feature, Twitter’s goal for the button is to “make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy.”

In keeping with the network’s simplicity, the button is integrated seamlessly within a user’s timeline. It appears within tweets from select merchants and artists, enabling users to make a purchase with just a few taps of their finger – without ever having to leave Twitter.


The implications of this button are massive, but its value can only be unlocked by those businesses that truly know their customers.

As Mashable reports , Twitter’s head of commerce Nathan Hubbard explains that the button could pave the way for Twitter to become the social platform for spontaneous purchases and time-sensitive deals:

“There is a real-time component to Twitter that isn’t replicated anywhere else. I think that lends itself to items with a temporal component… or anything with urgency.”

Twitter’s real-time nature means that customers who are most likely to click the button are those who are looking for a deal right now. And if advertisers can combine this knowledge with deep knowledge about their audience – their likes and dislikes, demographics, behaviors – they will be able to tap into the juggernaut that is mobile commerce.

For an example of a brand making good use of the button, take a look at the recent “Buy Now” campaign by Burberry, one of Twitter’s first ecommerce partners. The luxury brand tested out the buy button during a recent fashion show in London. Consumers could buy the exact nail polish that the models sported while walking down the runway as they watched them strut their stuff.

This combination of a real-time event with mobile ecommerce is impressive enough on its own, but a deeper look at the campaign shows that Burberry incorporated a firm understanding of their customers. They know that their customers love high fashion, and have aspirational ideas about the models that represent the industry. They targeted women with a belief in pampering themselves: those who were willing to make a spontaneous beauty purchase.

Understanding the attitudes, preferences and behaviors of consumers will be essential for any brand looking to capture real-time, instant sales from Twitter’s latest offering.

In all likelihood, Twitter will tread carefully when rolling this feature out to all advertisers to avoid clogging its users timelines with spam and unappealing “spray and pray” offers. For advertisers, this means that targeting the right audience will be essential – after all, if a “Buy Now” offer is only displayed a limited number of times per day, getting it in front of an active, engaged and in-market audience will mean the difference between a successful campaign and a flop.