This month Amazon announced a partnership with Twitter that allows Twitter users to Tweet to Amazon in order to add items to their Amazon Shopping Cart using #AmazonCart.

How does #AmazonCart work?

The Amazon/Twitter partnership allows Amazon customers to add products directly to their carts by way of responding to Amazon product links on twitter with the Twitter hashtag #AmazonCart.

For example if I see a pair of shoes from Amazon, I can reply @Amazonwith #AmazonCart to automatically add those shoes to my shopping cart.

#amazoncart how it works

Instead of going to Nike, remembering the shoes for later, or attempting to re-find the product later. The user experience includes a response tweet and a confirmation e-mail from Amazon that your product has been added to the cart.

Here is Amazon’s explanation of how #AmazonCart works:

Here’s a breakdown of how #AmazonCart works:

1)  See product on Twitter stream

#Amazoncart

2) Tweet @Amazon with the hashtag #AmazonCart 

#amazoncart tweet

3) Verify/ sign up with #AmazonCart (for new users)

#amazoncart verify Amazon

4) Login to Amazon

#Amazoncart twitter

5) Add Item to your cart (first time users)

#amazoncart setup6) Purchase and modify items in your cart  

#amazoncart purchase

Why #AmazonCart?

#AmazonCart’s value to customers is that it’s supposed to make it more convenient to go from discovery to purchase.

It also makes Amazon the default retailer for Twitter, who has been trying to draw a more direct line to monetizing social media activity.

#AmazonCart Value Adds

  • Faster path to purchase
  • Ease of purchasing from within Twitter

 

Will #AmazonCart work?

The value add of #AmazonCart for users is geared towards streamlining the purchase process across platforms. The question of whether that actually happens with #AmazonCart is open to debate. Here are some areas where #Amazoncart presents some issues

Product Variations

The most obvious issue with adding items to your cart with #AmazonCart are products which have variations. In my Nike Shoe example I can’t specify which color or size shoe I want through Twitter. Arguably the process of using #Amazoncart actually takes more steps to purchase something than going to Amazon from Twitter.

Conversion Process

There are just too many steps here.

“Speaking as a non-Twitter user if I saw a product I liked I’d rather click on the link, and hit buy now with one click–as opposed to replying to it with a specific hashtag that I may not remember, have it added to my cart, log into my Amazon account at a later date, go to my cart and complete the purchase there.” -Tien Nguyen

In addition to the fact that the conversion process has 5 or more steps (what?!), arguably there are issues with almost every step in that process.

1)  See product on Twitter stream

How often do you see products on twitter?

Twitter is a social engine but is much less product and ecommerce based than sites like Pinterest or Instagram. Maybe I’m not using Twitter like most people (for news and information?), but generally my path of purchase doesn’t start at Twitter.

How does this work with product images?

The user experience with images is still really unclear and doesn’t seem intuitive.

2) Tweet with the hashtag #AmazonCart 

In order to purchase anything with #AmazonCart the seller needs to be using an Amazon link. This elliminates other sellers who have the same product (not on Amazon), and makes me wonder how many things @Amazon and other sellers on Amazon are going to be tweeting moving forward?
#amazoncart twitter images
3) Verify/ sign up with #AmazonCart (for new users)

Really another step here?

4) Login to Amazon to purchase and modify items in your cart 

At this point it would have just been easier to copy paste the name of the product tweeted and search for it on Amazon.

5) Purchase and modify items in your cart 
This is where the variations issue comes into play.

#AmazonCart Issues

In addition to the above issues the #AmazonCart hashtag doesn’t work with Amazon’s Lightning Deals Twitter account at present. The hashtag system is also essentially a public broadcast of what you are looking to buy, which some customer might not be entirely comfortable with.

Additional issues with this  order processes are that you can’t be entirely sure if you’re going to get what you want. Could be a situation where someone orders an item and gets a reply as out of stock or even worse, no response at all?

  • Clunky add to cart function
  • @Amazon tweets about to explode?
  • Can’t tweet product variations
  • Doesn’t integrate with Amazon Lighting deals
  • Privacy issues
  • Stock and pricing issues
  • #Amazonbasket is available for customers in the UK, but may present confusion for sellers outside the US

It’s an interesting concept and I really like that Amazon is trying to innovate to address their user needs. I’m skeptical as to the adoption rate being super high, but I may be in the minority on this one.

#amazoncart reaction

#AmazonCart: What It Means For Sellers

This update is Twitters attempt to become a more appealing medium for direct-response-minded advertisers and monetize tweets. For sellers this means Twitter will increasingly become more of an opportunity to get consumer attention and promote products.

  • More opportunities to highlight products from Amazon
  • Stronger analytic data to support social
  • A potential shift in Twitter’s utility for users

 

Do you think #AmazonCart is the next move for social?

 

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