Amazon hooks up with Twitter for easier shopping

#AmazonBasket lets users buy without leaving Twitter


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Amazon has signed a deal with Twitter allowing users to add items to their shopping cart without leaving the social media site.

To enable the service, users will first need to link their Amazon and Twitter accounts, which can be done here. Then, when they see a tweet containing a link to an Amazon product from a friend, brand or celebrity, they can simply tweet "#AmazonBasket" ("#AmazonCart" in the US) in reply. This adds the item to the user's Amazon shopping cart - although the user will still need to go to the Amazon site to complete the purchase and pay.

Amazon will tweet back to remind the user that the item has been added to their cart, or let them know that it's out of stock.

"Enjoying your Twitter feed, but don't want to forget to purchase something important? Now Amazon lets you add items to your cart directly from Twitter. Reply with #AmazonCart to save the item for later and finish when you're ready," says the company.

"No switching applications, typing passwords or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter. Save it to your cart now and check out later when it's more convenient for you."

The deal is similar to one struck last year in the US between Twitter and American Express, which allows card-holders to purchase items using specific hashtags from Amazon and other retailers.

The move is obviously a good one for Amazon, which is likely to see a fair few more impulse purchases as a result. It will also get access to valuable customer data.

Meanwhile, Twitter won't be getting a cut of sales generated in this way. The deal should, however, help the company bump up its advertising rates, as these depend in part on the amount of time users spend on the site.

More than half of Twitter users say they've bought something after seeing it mentioned in a tweet. The new deal is likely to lead to a big increase in the number of product tweets sent out by advertisers, which may be irritating to users.

And users will also need to be careful about their shopping. Because most content is public on Twitter, any purchases will be visible to the person the buyer is replying to, to anybody viewing the conversation, and on the user's own timeline - unless their Twitter account is set to private.

As a result, customers may want to be a bit careful before ordering anything too embarrassing - or anything particularly valuable.

Save money on shopping

Save money on shopping