On Monday, May 5, 2014, Twitter and Amazon revealed a new initiative that will theoretically make it easier for someone to shop on Amazon's digital storefront through Twitter, all thanks to the hashtag #AmazonCart. The tagline, "Add it now. But it Later" perfectly encapsulates the plan from Amazon and Twitter, as it provides a means for consumers to add an item they see on Twitter to their Amazon cart or basket, without ever leaving Twitter or opening the Amazon website.
For the hashtag to work, though, consumers will need to make sure that their Twitter account is linked to their Amazon account. By heading to amazon.com/AmazonCart, users can find a quick FAQ regarding the details of the plan, as well as fill out the quick form to get their accounts linked.
How the system works is very simple: When someone sees a tweet that contains a link to a product on Amazon, whether it's a product that's coming soon or currently available, the user only has to send a reply tweet containing that Amazon link and add the hashtag #AmazonCart. Amazon will then add the product to your cart and it will stay there until you either remove it or purchase it. After you've added the item, you'll get a confirmation email, as well as a tweet sent your way confirming that you've added the item. For anyone who tries to add the hashtag to a tweet without having their accounts linked, they'll get a reply tweet telling them to link the accounts if they want to reap the rewards of the new partnership.
The tweets are easy marketing for Amazon, but that's not the ultimate goal of the partnership.
"There's a public nature to social media, particularly with Twitter -- which doesn't have the barriers of other social media tools. We have a significant number of customers who use Twitter, and a significant number of affiliates who use Twitter, too. So to be able to allow customers to add something to their Amazon cart without leaving Twitter was sort of a logical step," says Julie Law, an Amazon spokesperson.
The new deal between Amazon and Twitter isn't seeing any revenue headed to Twitter through these specific links. An Amazon spokeswoman explained that this type of relationship is something that Amazon is considering exploring with other companies and social media platforms.
"We are certainly open to working with other social networks," she said.
At launch, the new initiative will only work in the United States and the United Kingdom. For those in the UK, the hashtag will be #AmazonBasket. Unfortunately, the new deal will not let users add Amazon's popular Lightning Deals to their basket through Twitter. If you do tweet a link with a corresponding Lightning Deal, it will not be added to your cart or basket.
There is some speculation on whether or not this type of shopping, or marketing, will really take off through Twitter, seeing as it means people will be publicly announcing their purchases through the social network.