Twitter and Amazon are about to transform the retail landscape by allowing customers to buy products from Amazon’s vast catalogue by using a unique hashtag.
#AmazonBasket, or #AmazonCart in the US, allows customers to add items to the shopping basket that are mentioned in tweets by simply sending a reply to the post with either of the hashtags mentioned above. Items will then appear in the cart and the transaction won’t be completed until the user returns to the Amazon site to go through the checkout process.
For customers to benefit from the new shopping experience, accounts on both sites must be connected and users are reminded that any tweets sent will be shared publicly in the relevant Twitter feed if the customer’s account is public.
Once an item has been added to the shopping basket, the customer will get a reply Tweet from Amazon explaining the status of the order that states whether it has been added successfully to the basket or information on the item being out of stock.
It’s unclear whether the new service is part of a collaboration between the two companies or simply a clever manipulation of hashtags on the part of the ecommerce company. If it’s the latter, it remains fairly likely that Twitter will end up charging some kind of royalty for the privilege of using the service to offer items up for sale on the microblogging service.
The likes of Sky and Comcast on either side of the Atlantic have already started to use hashtags to allow users to set programmes to record on Sky+ or TiVo boxes with the Amazon shopping experience working in a similar way.
Amazon is currently only offering the new shopping experience to its UK and US customers with the likelihood that it will roll out elsewhere in the future if it’s a success in the first two markets.
Image Credit: Flickr (Andrew Culverston)