Twitter partners with payment processing company Stripe to boost purchases on its platform as growth falters
Payments processing company Stripe launched a new tool on Monday that will connect retailers and brands to sell on platforms like Twitter and tap an increasing number of consumers shopping on mobile apps.
Twitter’s adoption of Stripe’s new product, Relay, is expected to help the microblogging site further dabble in e-commerce and generate revenue through its "buy buttons," which lets shoppers buy a product and enter payment and shipping information without leaving Twitter’s platform.
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Twitter has been struggling to increase its audience and in July said its number of monthly average users grew at its slowest pace since it went public in 2013.
Last month, it appointed a Singapore-based senior executive to grow its Asia-Pacific business, after it opened an office in Hong Kong in March to court Chinese brands targeting Western consumers.
"Almost two-thirds of our users say they bought something specifically because of what they saw on Twitter. ... As mobile and social [media] continue to grow, consumers are going to discover and transact right in the apps where they spend their time every day," Nathan Hubbard, Twitter’s head of commerce, said at a launch event in San Francisco, where both companies are based.
Stripe, which makes software that helps businesses accept various types of payments on websites and in apps, counts grocery-delivery startup Instacart, ride-sharing app Lyft and e-commerce platform Shopify among its clients.
The payments company’s new Relay product functions as a universal sell button for retailers, allowing companies like eyewear brand Warby Parker to list products in a single place and sell them directly on Twitter as well as other e-commerce platforms like ShopStyle.
A smoother shopping experience is crucial to online retailers as they often blame the high rates of unfinished or abandoned online sales on the tiring process of re-entering payment information.
Stripe’s chief executive and co-founder, Patrick Collison, who was also at the event, likened the common difficulty of completing purchases through mobile devices to "an obstacle course," noting that two-thirds of mobile shopping carts are abandoned before the transaction is completed.
Meanwhile, Twitter.com was unavailable on Monday for some users across the United States but the mobile app and Tweetdeck, another Twitter website that allows users to view multiple browsers at once, appeared to be working normally.
Twitter users and others said they received a message that read "something is technically wrong" when trying to open the Twitter website on their personal computers.
Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.