In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Whimsically purchasing nonsense you don't need from Amazon just isn't easy enough. One-click ordering, two-day shipping--or same-day delivery if you're lucky--are fine, I guess, but now Amazon is letting consumers add items to their shopping cart straight from Twitter. All it takes is a hashtag.
The new Twitter partnership, called #AmazonCart, lets users reply to tweets containing Amazon links with the aforementioned hashtag. If a consumer's Twitter and Amazon accounts are connected, Amazon will drop the item in your cart.
The hashtag doesn't complete the transaction. Consumers have to sign in to Amazon to actually finalize the order.
Amazon isn't the first company to turn hashtags into buying opportunities, but is by far the largest. American Express last year partnered with Twitter to let its cardholders sync their credit cards and Twitter accounts. Using an AmEx-approved hashtag unlocks discounts or special offers. Starbucks also works with Twitter to allow its cardholders to gift lattes to friends by tweeting "@tweetacoffee to @insertnamehere."
Social-conversion platform Chirpify works with companies like Adidas and Oreo to activate hashtags those brands use in their print and TV ad campaigns. Users who tweet the so-called "action tags" can get free stuff, like a delivery of flavored Oreos.
Twitter hasn't yet taken advantage of retail in its quest to become a profitable public company, but with partners like Amazon running their own e-commerce experiments on the network, it seems a likely next step. Twitter has reportedly been in talks with back-end mobile payment startup Stripe to power social shopping, but it's unclear if the network has plans to launch any products in the future.