Add Amazon products to your basket through Twitter

Partnership makes it easier for people to buy things through their Twitter timeline, as the social platform explores other ways to drive revenue outside of advertising.

Twitter and Amazon have announced a partnership that will let users add products to their online basket through Twitter.

The move marks a different approach to a fledgling social commerce industry that is hoping to tap into the vast numbers of people interacting on social platforms.

Amazon is already king of ecommerce convenience, and embedding this purchasing ability into Twitter is just another extension of this, targeting mobile, social consumers.

Once Amazon accounts are synched to Twitter, users can reply to a tweet that mentions an Amazon product with the hashtag #amazoncart in the US and #amazonbasket in the UK. This automatically adds the product to the users’ online cart, securing it for the check out for when they next log in.

Twitter has had a similar strategic partnership with American Express in America since 2012, exploring other commerce options through timelines. Making shopping possible through the retailer instead of the financial provider will no doubt have some impact on purchases.

Twitter has been under pressure to monetize beyond its ad revenue since its flotation on the stock market last year. This week its shares dropped to the lowest recorded, and the company also reported a net loss of $132m for this year’s first quarter.

In terms of revenue it made $250m, $226m of which came from advertising – a 125% year-on-year increase, with 80% of traffic coming from mobile devices.

Twitter now counts 225 million monthly active users; again, this shows an increase and is up by 5.8% from 2013, but the growth has not been as strong as expected.

It’s clear to see Twitter motivation behind the partnership, what is less clear is Amazon’s – as the retailer already has working recommendations and wish list functionalities.

Whether this touted convenience angle is enough of a draw to get Twitter’s following using this feature is another question, Paul Coombes at social media agency 1000heads, isn’t convinced; “Replying to a tweet about a product you’ve just clicked on is actually a counter intuitive user experience on both mobile and desktop if you are already logged in to Amazon. The partnership might make this process a little easier in some cases, but it certainly isn’t adding a huge benefit to Twitter users.”

Although with Amazon’s use of Twitter’s summary cards, combined with paid media options, brands could find clear ways to measure return on purchase intent from social media, which looks like the most attractive prospect.

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