Is Social Media Turning into a Shopping Cart?

Well, Twitter is! Twitter is entering the ecommerce space in a bid to become the next social media shopping cart, allowing users to purchase products by tweeting a special hashtag. Joining forces with American Express, users will now be able to purchase products from Amazon, Urban Zen, Sony, and Xbox 360.

How Does it Work?

  1. Sync your eligible American Express Card with Twitter
  2. Tweet special #hashtags and look for a response from @AmexSync with the confirmation #hashtag
  3. Tweet the confirmation #hashtag within 15 minutes of the response from @AmexSync to confirm your purchase
  4. Use your synced card for a qualifying purchase at the merchant within the offer time period to receive savings

This isn’t the first time that American Express has made a commerce move in the social arena. Last March, they started offering discounts on Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, and Xbox Live.  After tweeting a #hashtag for an offer or checking in at a certain location, the card member can make a purchase and the discount is applied to the cardholder’s account within eight weeks. Now they're doubling down on that concept by allowing customers to actually make actual purchases through a social network.

If this integration takes off, it will strengthen Twitter’s advertising products, especially with the popularity growth of Twitter Vine. The entire marketing, sales, services, and delivery wrapped into a single #hastag would simplify the customer’s purchasing process experience while at the same time, making it a public--and shareable--activity. In anticipation of this shift, I predict we’ll see an increased use of #hashtags for products within traditional marketing channels including commercials, print ads, and event signage.

As commerce makes inroads into social channels, consumers’  expectations of businesses to be present and react in real-time will only rise higher. ExactTarget’s SocialEngage can help your business stay ahead of that curve, enabling your team to monitor and engage with your customer’s in real time.

Looking for more tips to connect with your audience through Twitter? Check out 140 Twitter Marketing Tips.

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