Twitter Buy Now Button Is Good For Sports

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Amazon and Twitter made news back in May when they announced a “Buy Now” button for Amazon products. Users on Twitter could scroll through Amazon’s handle and have the ability to be directed to a shopping cart from a tweet.

Re/Code noted recent changes to Twitter that included a more formal “Buy Now” button for all brands. AdAge went on to report documents that hint at Twitter allowing users to combine their credit card and shipping information with their own handle so that the buying process skips the shopping cart altogether.

But there’s a problem. Social isn’t selling for brands. This is what AdAge had to say:

McKinsey’s notable survey of 2013 showed the ground social media has to make up to be taken seriously as a sales driver: Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring consumers than Facebook and Twitter combined, and the average order value prompted by email is by 17% higher than those prompted by social media.

The fact is that no matter how many product enhancements are developed to encourage social commerce, people come to social channels to keep up with their friends, view funny videos, engage in conversation and so on. Consumers are not heading to social media in order to buy things. In fact, they’re not even there to consider buying things. Shopping and browsing products don’t even register as reasons for using Facebook in a recent survey from Pew.

But do the same rules for brands apply to sports? Facebook and e-mail are two of the digital powerhouses for sales in sports as well, for both tickets and merchandise.

The sports industry differs from almost every brand because of the level of emotion and urgency sports can create. Some of the most highly engaged digital content for sports comes at high points of emotion: playoff wins, record-breaking performances and championships.

There are other notable times of emotion that selling sports can benefit: excitement for the beginning of the season, intrigue of talented opposition and the emotion during rivalries.

During these times of high emotion, fans spend money.

Twitter benefits from timelines and urgency as much as sports content and sales do. If teams can post “Buy Now” buttons on their high emotion posts, fans will potentially react in a positive way. The less steps involved with purchasing tickets to the next playoff game or purchasing team apparel, the more likely they are to pull the trigger. Remember the 3 screens lesson from Digital Media 101? It’s important to grab the consumer’s attention quickly, and act upon their impulse to buy.

There are other scenarios teams will benefit from as well. Twitter has implemented promoted posts much similar to Facebook. Digital Managers for teams have struggled with Facebook’s new algorithm when promoting content. Much of the promotion for posts occurs 12-24 hours after posting, which sometimes is too late for buying tickets or merchandise. Twitter on the other hand is fast and responsive, but relies heavily on fan-targeting much similar to how Scarborough Marketing operates. Twitter also tends to have lower traffic for ticket purchases compared to e-mail and Facebook. Combining Twitter’s timeliness with the new “Buy Now” button could make Twitter the ultimate tool for buying promoted content that sells tickets and merchandise.

Twitter’s “Buy Now” button is still not official, and its details have yet to be confirmed. However, digital departments for sports teams should be aware of the possibility and have a strategy crafted surrounding content combined with selling. Below is how the “Buy Now” appeared during the leak on mobile, web, individual tweet and timeline:

twitter-commerce-screenshot

Note that the new “Buy Now” button doesn’t require a scripted “By this Championship shirt for $45” copy that Amazon+Twitter commerce required. It appears as though the content can allow a photo, copy and hashtag. I would assume that Twitter would allow for promotion of the post as well. Once opened the Tweet has a simple “Buy Now” feature and has a full description beyond the copy that is +140 characters. The Discover feature on mobile also brings together a Twitter marketplace.

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