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5/6/2014
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Amazon Taps Twitter For In-App Shopping

Amazon makes shopping via Twitter easy -- as long as you don't mind publicizing the contents of your shopping cart.

Twitter Revamp: 10 Things To Know
Twitter Revamp: 10 Things To Know
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Amazon and Twitter announced a feature Monday that lets you shop from your Twitter feed.

If you see a tweet with a link to an Amazon product that you want, reply to it with the hashtag #AmazonCart. Amazon will place that item in your shopping cart, and you can purchase it later when you're ready. You'll receive a notification via email and from @MyAmazon to confirm that it the item was added.

To opt in to this feature, you need to connect your Amazon and Twitter accounts first by visiting amazon.com/AmazonCart. Amazon will request access to the tweets in your timeline and permission to view who you follow. It will also ask for permission to follow new people on your behalf, update your profile, and post tweets for you. If you try to add an item to your cart before linking your accounts, Amazon will tweet you a reminder.

The #AmazonCart hashtag will work for all items except for Lightning Deals, which are products that Amazon offers at discounted prices for a set period of time -- usually an hour or two, the company said.

[Not everyone gets it right all the time. Read Twitter Turns 8: How To Fail In 140 Characters.]

Before you jump in, there are privacy implications to consider. If your Twitter account is public, anyone who visits your timeline, follows the #AmazonCart hashtag, or follows the account to which you replied will see your potential purchases.

If your account is private, anyone who follows you could see what you add to your shopping cart. Amazon does not yet offer options to make your activity private, which could impact whether or not people use the feature.

Publicly tweeting your potential purchases means free advertising for both Amazon and its retailers, and it will help marketers identify their most dedicated Twitter customers. This could provide businesses with a more valuable Twitter experience, which marketers have questioned. According to one report, businesses reported concerns about measuring their results and ROI on Twitter (45%), building an audience (42%), and generating engagement (27%).

For Amazon, the partnership is another way to reach customers and gather data on their shopping habits and preferences.

Twitter has taken a beating since reporting lackluster user numbers in its first-quarter results last week. Though revenue doubled -- exceeding investor expectations -- the company's monthly active users rose just 5.8%, compared to 10% in the first quarter last year. Following its earnings call, Twitter's stock price dropped to its lowest point since the company's IPO.

For more on how #AmazonCart works, check out the video below.

Can the trendy tech strategy of DevOps really bring peace between developers and IT operations -- and deliver faster, more reliable app creation and delivery? Also in the DevOps Challenge issue of InformationWeek: Execs charting digital business strategies can't afford to take Internet connectivity for granted.

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/8/2014 | 10:50:08 AM
Re: Customer Benefit?
That's an interesting idea about melding Amazon and Pinterest. Wonder if that's something we'll see in the future? I'm not much of a Pinterest user -- in fact, the only time I used it was while I was at Internet Evolution where I used it to share infographics! -- but many friends love that site. Given Pinterest's heavy emphasis on products, I could quite easily see the advantage of, say, seeing a pair of shoes and then being able to instantly put them in my Amazon shopping cart. I'd like that capability in some ads, too. Silly, but I saw an ad for perfume or something and fell in love with the dress the model wore. No doubt it was out of my price league, but I'd have loved an easy way to find a knock-off and buy it! (Sure, I could have image-searched it, then tracked it down that way but I didn't love it THAT much!)
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
5/7/2014 | 3:26:15 PM
Re: Customer Benefit?
I agree with you, Alison. I've rarely noticed Amazon product links in my Twitter feeds anyway, and I'm not sure that I'd be inclined to add something to my cart on a whim like that. I can see this integration working better on something like Pinterest, which is very product-heavy.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/7/2014 | 9:18:13 AM
Customer Benefit?
And the customer benefits because they don't have to search Amazon for that item as a separate task? Or they can indulge in more impulse buying, I suppose. I'm a pretty heavy user of both Amazon and Twitter, but the pros (as I see them) don't outweigh the cons you mention in the story, Kristin. Doubt I'll link the two accounts unless Amazon and Twitter can come up with a really, really good reason and a way to control privacy.
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