Amazon Introduces New Tool on Twitter for eCommerce

Twitter is quickly becoming a powerhouse social media site with more combative features being added every other week in the battle with other social networks. The newest addition sees a partnership between Twitter and online retailer, Amazon. You can now add products that you see on Twitter to your Amazon basket without leaving your Twitter feed. All you need to do is simply reply to the tweet that is displaying the product and add the hashtag #AmazonBasket (or #AmazonCart if you’re in the US).

According to Amazon, this means you don’t have to switch apps or sites, remember passwords or go back to try to find that item you saw on Twitter last night. The process takes five seconds and could save you a lot of effort! Amazon has released a handy informative video to get you up-to-speed with the process and calm any issues you might have with how the link works.

This is a similar concept to one explored by Twitter and American Express last year, where users could buy products with their Amex card by replying with a specific hashtag. Whilst the Amex concept actually took payment, this feature only adds items to your cart for you to purchase at a later date - acting almost as a bookmark. So as of yet, there’s no option to make a payment, and no unexpected charges.

To set yourself up to use this facility, all you need to do is sign in to your Amazon account, link it your Twitter profile and you’re good to go! The instructions on the Amazon website are pretty clear, so don’t worry about having to sign up to something new, creating a new password or having a new website to remember.

When you use the hashtag, you also get a confirmation tweet from Amazon, which keeps everything very transparent and lets you know what’s going on!

However, there has already been some debate as to whether users wish to broadcast their purchase decisions on a public forum like Twitter. Depending on your privacy settings, everybody could potentially see which products you’ve decided to save in your cart. But the potential for this kind of fast, effective tool is a great development so hopefully users will take to it positively.

Social media integration is becoming more and more popular, with online sites and social networks becoming far more than just a place to chat with friends or play simulated farm games. This could be a huge new movement in eCommerce and the way we buy our products online. Up until now, social networks have been a great tool for sharing inspiration for products and raising product awareness but until now, developers have not particularly found a problem-free way to integrate transactions and increase conversion rates. We’ll have to see how Twitter handles this, but it looks like it could be a great tool for eCommerce depending on whether users embrace it or not.

In a few years’ time, Twitter may partner up with other retailers and propose the same ‘add-to-cart tweet’ perhaps with sites such as eBay and Netflix. Maybe they’ll even offer the process to smaller, local retailers. This type of facility could really offer a quicker and more efficient way to purchasing goods and services on the web and at Statement, we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on how things unfold.

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