Social media giant Twitter launched its ‘buy now’ button for retailers on Wednesday but, as usual, Canada will have to wait. Shopify is looking to change that though.

Twitter first dipped its virtual toe into the e-commerce water a year ago, looking at ways to make it easier for users of its social network to make a purchase right from a tweet by integrating with major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Bigcommerce and Demandware. On Wednesday, Twitter rolled its ‘buy now’ button out system-wide for any size retailer – as long as you’re in the U.S., of course.

“We think of Twitter as the world’s largest direct-to-consumer channel,” Twitter’s head of commerce, Nathan Hubbard, told CNBC. “We have been from the beginning working to try to make those conversations transactional while appropriate. Brands are building direct relationships with consumers and they’re using platforms to build those direct relationships. What they don’t always have is distribution.”

According to Twitter, more than 50 million tweets every month say “I want” or “I need” something and over 100 million people follow a brand or merchant, so the potential for Twitter-based e-commerce is strong.

From a computer of mobile device, a shopper can click the ‘buy now’ button within a tweet and see product information. They can then make their selections, enter shipping and payment information, and make their purchase.

For retailers, it’s a new way to bring greater monetization to their social media channels and, when you can catch a prospect at the right point in the funnel, close the sale right then and there.

Twitter’s e-commerce integration follows similar moves by Facebook and Pinterest, and Ottawa-based e-commerce platform provider Shopify is supporting all three for its retailer customers. And it’s working with Twitter to bring the service to Canada as soon as possible.


“We’ll be rolling out Twitter buy buttons to merchants over the coming weeks, but you can add the Twitter sales channel to your Shopify account now,” wrote Satish Kanwar, Shopify’s director of product, in a blog. “For the time being only merchants and shoppers from the United States can use Twitter buy buttons. We are working with the team at Twitter to expand this to more countries.”

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