Twitter users could be about to see an uptick in the number of “Buy” buttons in their feeds after online payments startup Stripe launched a new tool that lets merchants more easily sell their wares via tweets.
Called Relay, the feature allows sellers to include a Buy button in a tweet touting one of its products. When a user taps on the button they’ll have the chance to order the item direct from the app – in other words they won’t have to leave Twitter to complete the transaction.
Relay stores shoppers’ credit card information so you’ll only have to enter it the first time you make a purchase.
Stripe’s new offering should prove useful for Twitter as it brings more functionality to its service while holding buyers within its app rather than losing them to merchants’ webpages.
For merchants, Relay offers a simple way to bring a fast and convenient shopping experience to a large audience, which could of course lead to a marked increase in sales.
While Stripe has tapped Twitter as a launch partner for Relay, there’s no word yet on when other similar apps might have a chance to incorporate the tool.
Explaining the thinking behind Relay in a message posted on Monday, Stripe said many of today’s e-commerce sites suffer through “10-step shopping carts, mandatory account signup [and] slow page loads.”
It said that the majority of mobile shopping sites are “fundamentally the same as the desktop sites that preceded them,” claiming that this explains why 15 percent of online purchases come from smartphones despite such devices representing 60 percent of browsing traffic for shopping sites.
Sellers already using Stripe’s tool to offer shopping opportunities via Twitter include the likes of eyewear firm Warby Parker and department store Saks Fifth Avenue.
Twitter has already been testing a Buy button with selected partners, however, Relay makes it far easier for any seller to offer their products from within the social media app. For example, merchants can upload product catalogs from which items can then be selected for embedding into tweets.
E-commerce initiatives are gaining in importance among social media companies, with the likes of Facebook and Pinterest examining ways to make their respective services more central to people’s daily lives in a bid to boost both their popularity and income.
For now, the Relay-powered Buy button only works for U.S.-based Twitter users though should be rolled out on a wider scale over time.