Twitter’s latest quest to conjure revenue from its platform involves eCommerce giant Amazon, and #AmazonCart has the potential to change the relationship between social media and eCommerce. But while Twitter could gather a few coins from each sale of books or boots or baby clothes, the real win will be for brands and the opportunity to build connections with their Twitter followers.
By getting Twitter users to click on links to items on Amazon, brands can do more than just sell their products; they can establish trust with users and offer other useful information. It’s a backward way of creating customers, but a trusted follower can be much more valuable than a mere customer.
Products first, questions later
What makes #AmazonCart so easy is also what makes it a potential win for brands. A Twitter user can reply to a tweet with an Amazon product link with the #AmazonCart hashtag and, if her account is enabled, the product will show up in her cart.
It’s a quick and easy way to shop—and it flips the buying process script completely. Instead of researching an item and adding it to her cart, a Twitter user might send an #AmazonCart tweet, then read about the item once it’s in her cart. Users aren’t actually buying an item, of course, but having an item in a cart is just one step away.
New focus on content
#AmazonCart also presents a unique opportunity for brands to use content to attract customers in two ways: in social media and in on-page content. Because of the rearranged buying cycle, both channels will be important to closing each sale.
The best marketing tools for any brand are its advocates, and that means community building will be critical. Making sure that followers see the tweets, creating calls-to-action that encourage users to RT and reply, and engaging users in dialogue with brand advocates can give businesses the chance they need to stay at the top of users’ minds and timelines.
On-page content is also important for #AmazonCart purchases. There’s no guarantee that a Twitter user who adds an item to her cart will actually buy it; so the product description has to give the user all the information she needs to press the “order” button. But remember that on-page content can also mean product reviews—and that’s where your brand advocates come in. Brands can use Twitter to encourage advocates to write Amazon reviews of the product, which can give #AmazonCart users the final push to buy.
There’s more to #AmazonCart than simply replying to a tweet. Both buyers and brands will need to invest in community building and creating compelling, punchy content to make it work. Even Amazon and Twitter will need to keep creating content to remind users of just how convenient the service can be. #AmazonCart has the potential to be a big win for both Amazon and Twitter—but it’s the users who will decide.