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Twitter Acquires CardSpring To Help Build “In-The-Moment Commerce”
In a move to enhance its e-commerce backbone, Twitter today announced it will acquire CardSpring, a startup that enables businesses to link credit- and debit-card purchases to digital coupons, rewards and loyalty programs.
CardSpring, which specializes in linking and tracking online activity to offline purchases, should help Twitter further its efforts on that front, as well as helping it figure out how to better integrate purchasing actions onto the Twitter platform.
From the Twitter announcement of the acquisition: “Twitter has always been a vibrant environment for users to discover product recommendations and promotions from artists, experts, brands and friends. In fact, we’ve already given users the ability to get deals and discounts, surprise someone with a coffee, or even add items to their online shopping cart — all directly from a Tweet. As we work on the future of commerce on Twitter, we’re confident the CardSpring team and the technology they’ve built are a great fit with our philosophy regarding the best ways to bring in-the-moment commerce experiences to our users.”
Twitter and Facebook have both been making recent e-commerce moves — Twitter testing a Buy Now button on its mobile app earlier this month, and Facebook today announcing that it’s testing a similar button. However, bringing CardSpring on board seems to be a more sophisticated and strategic move.
CardSpring Was Founded By Former Netscape Engineers And Executives
CardSpring, founded by former Netscape engineers and executives, already has a wide array of merchants and developers using its platform. And last year, it launched CardSpring Connect, a commerce analytics system that taps into merchants’ existing point-of-sale network and tracks how sales are connected with online promotions with Foursquare, Trialpay, Thanx and others.
With Twitter, such promotional offers will have the potential to be targeted using promoted tweets — and spread via retweeting. As TechCrunch’s Josh Constine wrote:
Twitter could use CardSpring to enable card-linked offers. For example, you could get a discount offered in tweet from a merchant that would ask you to enter your credit card number (or perhaps one day pull it from a card you have on file with Twitter). When you make a purchase at that merchant later, online or offline, CardSpring would recognize your card number and apply the discount. It would then report back to the merchant with analytics on the performance of the offer. These online-to-offline promotions could make Twitter more relevant to local businesses who want to drive brick-and-mortar sales, not just retweets and follows.
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