Social Media

Twitter Unveils Plans To Enter E-Commerce Space


Twitter revealed its new Live Shopping program that will allow viewers to make in-app purchases from merchants’ websites in a Monday blog post, becoming the latest social media giant to venture into the emerging world of live-streamed e-commerce.

Key Facts

The first-ever Live Shopping stream will be hosted Sunday on Walmart’s Twitter account and will be a “30-minute variety show highlighting electronics, home goods, apparel, seasonal décor, surprise special guests and much more” hosted by singer Jason Derulo.

Twitter users will be able to make purchases via a “Shop Tab” on the live stream, while a “Shoppable Banner” will flash across the top of the screen featuring goods that are being showcased.

Key Background

Twitter joins Meta, TikTok and YouTube in the effort to bring the same success live-streamed shopping has had globally, especially in China, to the U.S. Live streams allow merchants to sell to a wide audience, replicating the success of shopping television networks at a much lower cost. Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig told Bloomberg, “It’s basically digitizing QVC and HSN. It’s a huge opportunity.” Coresight projects that the U.S. represents only about 1% of the live e-commerce market at this point, though American companies are angling to replicate the same success the industry has had in China in the U.S. Some two-thirds of Chinese shoppers made purchases off of live streams last year and bought $7.5 billion of products during a single 30-minute shopping period off of Taobao Live, an online shopping marketplace. Live commerce accounted for $171 billion in sales in China last year, per McKinsey.

Big Number

10% to 20%. That’s how much of all e-commerce sales could come via shoppable live streams by 2026, according to McKinsey estimates.

Further Reading

Twitter to test first live shopping show ahead of Cyber Week (Axios)

Facebook is trying to emulate China’s e-commerce model (Quartz)

TikTok Pilots In-App Shopping Feature Amid E-Commerce Boom (Forbes)

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