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Twitter’s buy button entices event marketers via geo-location, instant purchases

Twitter has the capacity to become a significant player in mcommerce as event marketers and music artists flock to the social media application’s buy button for exclusive selling opportunities, confirming the potential for social networks to target users with geo-located advertisements and drive impulse buys.

Consumers using the buy button can instantly purchase tickets to sporting events or music performances directly within Twitter’s site or app, via pop-up windows. If the brands find success with this feature, it may pave the way for other social media apps to become mcommerce hubs thanks to their ability to send targeted ads to users based on location or interests.

“The inclusion of a buy button in a Tweet is a powerful new way to harness the potential of mobile commerce at the exact time a consumer expresses interest, or is in physical proximity to the location where an event occurs,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of sales and business development at Unbound Commerce, Boston, MA.

“Event ticketing is an obvious choice, because there is a high likelihood a consumer would be interested in an event, if they are within some range of physical proximity to where that event occurs. When the messaging has a special price associated, or a limited time duration for the offer, the conversion rate likely increases dramatically.”

Potential for live events
The decision for live events marketers to leverage Twitter’s buy button makes sense, as the app sees millions of users scrolling through their feeds each second, therefore providing an optimal opportunity to get rid of last-minute tickets.

However, some brands and teams are selling their tickets exclusively through Twitter, which may spur even more consumers to regularly check the app for deals.

The Atlanta Hawks, a professional basketball team, offered users access to a limited amount of tickets to a game in the National Basketball Association Playoffs. Interested fans could click on the provided link to immediately purchase the tickets and input the amount they wanted to buy.

To offer an even more streamlined checkout in the future, Twitter stores credit card information after the first purchase is made.

Threat to ticket hubs
Event ticket hubs such as Ticketmaster and StubHub may begin to view Twitter and other social networks as a threat if their instant gratification abilities entice more consumers. Twitter believes that it will eventually transform into a location for impulse purchases.

Several retailers, including AMC Theatres and Old Navy, have also offered their products via the buy button.

Ultimately, the wide variety of constantly-engaged consumers that Twitter offers is a huge plus for marketers, and one that may take the spotlight away from other ticket sites.

“If Twitter can show a clear ROI to advertisers, that is tied to actual purchases, they can develop a powerful new revenue stream,” Mr. Kerr said. “Rather than collect advertising or sponsorship fees for impressions rendered, they could borrow from Groupon, and collect a percentage of the actual transactions that occurred, as a result of a specific tweet.

“Even if this is a pilot program, the data that they can gather is extremely important, if they are seeking to link social media and with mobile commerce, tracked by real transactions.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York