5/05/14

Amazon lets consumers shop via Twitter

Shoppers who link their Amazon.com and Twitter accounts can add items to their Amazon carts by using the hashtag #AmazonCart. The move could help the e-retailer boost the tiny amount of traffic it receives from Twitter.

Zak Stambor , Managing Editor

Amazon.com Inc. has extended its reach to Twitter by letting consumers add items to their carts without leaving the social network. A shopper can later complete his purchase on Amazon.com.

The new feature, which Amazon rolled out today, lets a Twitter user who links his Amazon and Twitter accounts add an item to his Amazon.com cart by including the #AmazonCart hashtag in a tweet that includes a link to an Amazon product page. Amazon says a U.K. shopper can add an item to his Amazon.co.uk cart by using the #AmazonBasket hashtag. Any word that starts with a pound sign (#) is a hashtag, which becomes a clickable link to all other mentions of that word.

Consumers can link their Amazon and Twitter accounts on Amazon’s “Your Social Settings” page in the “Your Account” section of the retailer’s site.

“No more switching apps, typing passwords or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter,” Amazon says in a video announcing the feature. “Save it to your cart now and check out later when it’s more convenient for you.”

After a consumer sends an #AmazonCart or #AmazonBasket tweet, Amazon confirms the item has been added via a reply tweet from its @MyAmazon account. Or, if a shopper who hasn’t linked his Twitter and Amazon accounts sends an #AmazonCart tweet, he will receive a reply from Amazon’s @MyAmazon account asking him to connect his accounts.

Unless a shopper’s Twitter account is set to private, which restricts who can see his posts, anyone on the social network can see when he adds an item to his cart using #AmazonCart.

Amazon, No. 168 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Social Media 500 Guide, gets  only 0.07% of its site traffic from Twitter in a typical month, according to the guide. By letting shoppers add items to their carts without leaving the social network, it is attempting to find another way to drive sales via social media.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it will assess how its customers use #AmazonCart before extending the tool to markets beyond the United States and United Kingdom.

A spokeswoman also says that Amazon is "open to" expanding the feature onto other social networks but focused first on Twitter because of its "global reach." "Twitter offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands and friends," she says.

Topics:

Amazon, social media, Social Media 500, Top 500, Twitter

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