Twitter Cards are Essential to E-commerce

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Twitter cards

Twitter is just getting smarter and smarter when it comes to ecommerce brands. Although the below is not yet available in Australia, some companies are already utilising it with US based accounts. Ever since Twitter announced analytics for Twitter Cards earlier this year, which allows users to add images, videos and product descriptions to their tweets, it has significantly incremented the amount of users who re-tweet this content and click on these links to check out products (yes, thanks to that great visual). So it’s safe to say that the emergence of Twitter Cards for Ecommerce websites has resulted in smart selling for online business. In fact, HubSpot A/B testing found that tweets with images actually received a 36% increase in clicks, a 41% increase in re-tweets and a 55% increase in leads.

What exactly are twitter cards? you’ve probably already come across them. They allow you to add rich visual media to your tweets, thus making them much more appealing to the eye.

Here’s an example of a regular tweet:

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 9.26.32 PM

Now compare that to:

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 9.26.54 PM

Which one makes you want to click for more? Compared to the regular, the second has an image of the T-shirt followed by a short description. Twitter actually allows up to 200 characters for product descriptions with Twitter Cards. You can also include up to two other pieces of information about your products, such as its price and availability/size or as is the case for above, the T-shirt’s customer star rating.

Online shopping stores are increasingly adopting product cards to market their business on twitter. But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to product cards, Twitter offers a variety of other cards that may help you increase follower engagement. Besides promoting products, you can also use Twitter cards to promote contests, introduce new products, share videos, jump the bandwagon on current events, and most importantly, generate leads.

Here’s an example of a clothing store (Urban Outfitters) using twitter cards to promote a contest:

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 9.38.44 PM

And here’s how player cards allow you to embed video and audio files into your tweets (meaning, followers can view educational videos, product demos, how-to videos, etc., without leaving Twitter):

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 9.40.10 PM

But really, the best part it being able to find out how well your content is performing with these Twitter Cards thanks to its integration with Analytics. For a more in depth look at how to use the new marketing analytics for Twitter Cards, please refer to this video: http://youtu.be/EtJg3fy_mJU

How exactly can you get started?

Most Twitter Cards are free but Lead Generation Cards are part of Twitter’s advertising programme and can only be used within Promoted Tweets. Really, the cost depends on your advertising budget and how much you’re willing to allocate for each engagement. But to really get started, you just need a product web page with an image that is at least 160 x 160 pixels and preferably square. Once you have this image, you can visit Twitter’s Developer site and check out the Product Card documentation which contains the meta tags you must include in your website. After placing these meta tags on your product page, then you have to check them against Twitter’s Card Validator tool and submit them for approval. This may take 5-10 days to obtain the approval so make sure you submit ahead of time.

Ecommerce brands can most definitely reap big benefits from Twitter Product Cards as they give potential clients a visual that is more attention-grabbing and appealing. Let’s face it, videos and images have been doing a lot better to retain potential customers and this is just bound to keep on growing.

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