Through its acquisition of CardSpring, a payment infrastructure start-up, Twitter will now be able to track when users redeem offers, and tap into the card-linked marketing space.
CardSpring allows developers to build Web and mobile apps that work with credit cards, such as electronic coupons, loyalty programs, and virtual currencies. For example, a merchant could offer a discount in a tweet and ask for a user’s credit card number. When the user makes a purchase later, CardSpring will recognize the credit card number and process the transaction with the discount included. At the same time, it will report back to the merchant and update analytics on the performance of the offer.
This card-linked approach will bring Twitter closer to businesses, as it can help them offer consumers relevant deals. In a recent study by Bank of America, 90 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) who used card-linked marketing (CLM) saw a revenue lift, and 98 percent of them considered CLM to be an effective solution for targeting consumers.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but one thing is for sure – Twitter is becoming more merchant-friendly in the e-commerce space.
“Twitter’s acquisition of CardSpring brings them even further into the e-commerce game,” says Ron Schott, director of professional services at Simply Measured, a provider of social media analytics and measurement. “As more people are using their mobile devices for everything from communication to purchasing products using apps like Starbucks’ app, Twitter needs a new way to get as close to the transaction as possible.”
From a data perspective, the purchase of CardSpring will allow Twitter to track users’ redemptions of offers that are delivered via Twitter Cards. This capability, says Schott, opens up “a whole new stream of data that was previously a blank space for Twitter.”
This isn’t Twitter’s first foray into the e-commerce space. Prior to the Twitter-CardSpring deal, American Express partnered with Twitter (#AmexOffers) to provide deals and discounts, and Amazon teamed up with Twitter to allow consumers to add items to their shopping carts by tweeting the hashtag #AmazonCart.
In these partnerships, however, Twitter couldn’t track users’ redemption activities, meaning that brands had to analyze how consumers’ Twitter-related activities led to in-store or online purchases on their own.
But now, by connecting users’ credit cards directly to the offers via CardSpring, Twitter can track the whole buying journey. “They can now see the entire process, from content creation to delivery via targeted ads to engagement to redemption,” Schott notes.
“And this new piece of the data set provides Twitter with valuable, real-world data that will grab the attention of brand marketers,” he adds.
So what do you think of the Twitter-CardSpring deal? Let us know in the comments below!