Will deal tweets fly?
Twitter, which has been testing a "buy button" since September, last week indicated it was testing Twitter Offers, enabling retailers to tweet time-sensitive, cash-back deals that users can then claim in brick-and-mortar stores.
What’s unique about the advertised deals is that they’re tied to the users’ credit or debit card, made possible through Twitter’s July acquisition of CardSpring.
"When users see a Twitter Offer in their timeline, they can add the offer to their credit or debit card in just a few taps, and redeem in real time by using the card at the store," said Group Product Manager Tarun Jain in a blog post. "Because the offer is tied to their card, redemption is seamless and easy: there are no coupons to redeem at the point of purchase. After the purchase, the cash back savings appear on their card statement within a few days."
After users add a Twitter Offer to their credit or debit card, that card information is encrypted and safely stored to make it easier for them to claim other offers or make purchases on Twitter in the future. Users are also able to remove this information from their accounts.
For advertisers, the card link helps attribute redemptions directly to their campaigns so they can measure ROI. The offering also works with the retailer’s existing payment network with no software or training involved.
Finally, retailers would gain Twitter’s targeting capabilities that can tailor deals to specific demographics. Speaking to The New York Times, Nathan Hubbard, the former CEO of Ticketmaster, who heads Twitter’s e-commerce division, believes Twitter will eventually tap location data to tie offers to the user’s proximity.
"I think location will play a huge part of this going forward," Mr. Hubbard told the Times.
The offering will be tested with "a handful of brands" on desktop and mobile.
Speaking to Wired, Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research, questioned whether consumers would be motivated enough to link their cards to Twitter Offers. She also said the experiences of Groupon and Foursquare underscore the challenges online coupons and geolocation deal apps are facing. She said, "It seems like this is a mashup of so many ideas that have been tried before, and none of them have been wildly successful."
- Introducing Twitter Offers – Twitter
- Twitter Adds Coupons to Its Commerce Plans – The New York Times (tiered sub.)
- Twitter Expands Its Commerce Lineup With Twitter Offers, Which Link To Your Credit Or Debit Card – TechCrunch
- Twitter Tries Out Coupons Despite Everything Groupon Taught Us – Wired
Do you see more potential in Twitter Offers than in Groupon, Foursquare and other online coupon services? What needs to happen for online coupons driven by social networks to take off?