World's largest e-commerce company Amazon.com Inc. has partnered with Twitter to launch a special hashtag (#AmazonCart) for shopping on the micro-blogging site. The new feature basically let's Twitter users add items to their Amazon.com 'shopping carts' directly from Twitter.
For the same, customers will have to first connect their Twitter accounts to Amazon.com. Customers who do not connect the accounts will receive a reply tweet asking them to do the same, in order to enable the feature. Post that, users can 'save' an item to their carts simply by replying to any tweet containing an Amazon.com product link with '#AmazonCart'.
The product gets added to the user's cart, and will be waiting for them the next time they visit the e-commerce site. With the feature, you can add any number of products to your Amazon cart without leaving your Twitter feed.
"We know that discovering products and services on Twitter is a natural, and we always look for ways to make that easier for users. That's why we built this capability through our relationship with Amazon," said Twitter spokesman Will Stickney in a company statement.
Note that replying with '#AmazonCart' will only save the item to your cart. You can always review or edit your cart at a later time. You will also receive a reply tweet from @MyAmazon describing the status of your request (like whether the item was successfully added to your cart, if it was out of stock, or how you can finish checking out later).
Why is connecting the accounts important? By connecting your Twitter and Amazon accounts, you are telling Amazon that '#AmazonCart' requests coming from your Twitter account should be added to your Amazon.com shopping cart. Without that link, the company would not know to which customer's cart it should add the item.
Here is a video introducing the service.
The feature is currently available for customers only in the US and the UK (via #AmazonBasket). With the offering, the company is basically promoting the concept of 'add it now, buy it later.'
Amazon.com Inc., which forayed into India last year with a country-specific online marketplace Amazon.in, saw its revenues for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014 rise 23 per cent to $19.74 billion from $16.07 billion last year. Net income for the quarter increased to $108 million from $82 million last year.
Why #AmazonCart won't work in India?
While the feature is an interesting one, we feel that it would not find many takers in the country. This is primarily due to two reasons:
First of all, Indians at heart are not casual shoppers. Even if we have to purchase something as simple as an earphone, we do loads of research for the same and then compare prices on a number of stores before finally purchasing it. This service is more suited for impulse buyers.
Secondly, most content is public on Twitter, hence your '#AmazonCart' replies will be visible to whomever you replied, to those viewing the conversation, and on your own Timeline- unless your Twitter account is set to private, which is rarely the case. What this basically means is that you will end up sharing your shopping list with the public, again something Indian buyers will not be comfortable doing.
And while Indian e-commerce companies can definitely learn a lot from Amazon, we feel this is one service they can give a miss.