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eCommerce begins to arrive on Twitter

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CheapTweet has launched CheapTweet Stores, a branded mini-site within CheapTweet where all the tweets from all the accounts run by a retailer are gathered in one place, making it easy for consumers to track all the special offers a retailer has sent out via Twitter. And US retailer has already gone live with its own, branded ‘Twitter Store’.

The new ‘stores’ may just be the start, however. Twitter investor Todd Chaffee has put together a list of the different ways in which Twitter could work to offer shopping advice and ease of purchasing.

“Someday, when you ask your Twitter followers to recommend the most comfortable running shoe or the best digital camera, you might be able to go one step further and buy the product on the Twitter site,” reports the New York Times’ Bits blog:

Many companies are already on Twitter, monitoring what customers say about them and offering discounts and promotions to their followers. And many people use Twitter to ask for recommendations, like which type of gadget to buy or which movie to see. Since Twitter is already becoming one of the best shopping resources, Mr. Chaffee said, why not enable people to make purchases from the site as well?

“Commerce-based search businesses monetize extremely well, and if someone says, ‘What treadmill should I buy?’ you as the treadmill company want to be there,” Mr. Chaffee said. “As people use Twitter to get trusted recommendations from friends and followers on what to buy, e-commerce navigation and payments will certainly play a role in Twitter monetization.”

Twitter would couple e-commerce with advice from other shoppers, an element that most search engines do not offer. Shopping on Twitter could also potentially be useful on mobile phones, on which it is more difficult to surf the Web. People might find it simpler to ask for advice on a product, pick it out and pay for it on the same site.

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