This week Twitter announced they’re launching a new type of Twitter card to the U.S. market over the Holidays. Twitter Offers allow advertisers to offer a promotional discount that users can claim right there on Twitter.
What Twitter says about it
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. 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.
My take on Twitter Offers
This thing can be confusing and generated several questions as I was reading it. I’m going to break it down step by step to make it easier to follow the user experience.
We’re going to use the same example Twitter provided. The Barista Bar is offering $2 off orders $5 or more.
- Twitter user Jamie sees the offer in her Twitter feed
- Jamie taps the “Get Offer” button in the ad
- A new screen opens where Jamie enters her credit card number to add the offer to her card
- Jamie visits The Barista Bar and orders a $6 latte
- Jamie pays full price for her drink using the same credit card she registered with Twitter
- A few days later her credit card is refunded the $2 from the Twitter Offer
Here’s the catch
I’m not even going to pretend to understand how Twitter is able to communicate with so many different merchant systems and they can determine if the person purchased the correct products to qualify for the discount and then credit the amount back to the customer.
What I do know is you can use a credit card or debit card (no gift cards). If the customer chooses to use a debit card, they must remember to select “credit” at checkout and not enter a PIN.
That’s an important tidbit of information I found buried in the Twitter support section. I don’t have stats to prove it, but I’d bet they’ll have more people using a debit card to redeem offers. How many of those people are going to remember to checkout with the credit option? I use my debit card so often, that it’s a habit to push the debit button and plugin my PIN.
I can see it now … Pushing the enter button and slapping myself on the head just as I remembered that I didn’t use the credit option and now I’m not getting my discount.
The question I have is who is going to take the heat if this happens? Twitter or the merchant that made the offer? And will the people at the point of sale end up spending time correcting customer mistakes? Can of worms.
Are they over complicating this?
I’m not sure I fully understand why Twitter is going through the trouble of taking credit card numbers and integrating with merchant systems and everything else that makes this work.
Why not just generate a code that can be scanned or manually entered? You don’t have to worry about people freaking out about entering their card into an app. Discounts would be given immediately. Customers don’t have to worry about choosing the wrong payment method.
What do you think about Twitter Offers? Will you use them as a customer or for your business?