Amazon Lets Users Add Items to Cart from Twitter Feed

Twitter users can reply with #AmazonCart to any Tweet containing a link to an Amazon product to have that item added to their shopping carts.

Amazon has introduced #AmazonCart, a Twitter-entwined solution that makes it still simpler for consumers to make purchases from its site, while potentially also lassoing in fleetingly desired items that otherwise may be forgotten.

AmazonCart is connected to a user's Twitter account and lets users put millions of Amazon-sold items into their Amazon shopping carts without leaving the Twitter feed.

When a Twitter user sees a Tweet with a link to an Amazon product and decides she wants that item, she just needs to reply to the Tweet and include the hashtag #AmazonCart and it will be placed in her online basket.

Importantly, using the hashtag doesn't complete a purchase—users will need to go to the Amazon site and check out. As of May 5, consumers in the United Kingdom can also use the solution, with the hashtag #AmazonBasket.

In April, Amazon introduced Dash, a wand, or remote control-like item with the same agenda: getting users to add more items to their shopping carts more easily, and while the thought is still in their heads. Dash uses the same voice-recognition technology as Amazon's Fire TV. Users can push the button and tell Amazon what they'd like. Or, using the built-in scanner, scan the barcodes of items already in their homes (like cereal boxes or milk containers).

Paul Cousineau, director of Amazon's mobile shopping unit, has said that Amazon's goal is take customers from "I want that" to "I bought that" in 30 seconds, if not 10.

In addition to expediency, the tie to social media is likely to deliver benefits to Amazon. Anyone following a person on Twitter may see that he or she intends to purchase something from Amazon, and so the re-Tweet acts as not just an advertisement but as an endorsement.

People with something to sell, including authors or musicians, may also be more inclined to promote their products with a link to Amazon, offering potential buyers a faster route to a purchase.

A November 2013 survey from Sociomantic Labs, which calls itself the "leader in programmatic advertising solutions for eCommerce marketers," found that social channels demonstrated a "marked improvement in influencing behavior" when advertising was well-targeted.

According to Sociomantic, 50 percent of people who found Facebook well-targeted said it influenced their buying behavior, compared with 17 percent of general respondents.

On Pinterest, under the same conditions, 47 percent found it influential, compared with 11 percent when not targeted.

Only 3 percent of respondents said Twitter was influential to their purchases, but when targeted, the number jumped to 31 percent.

The survey also included details around how people use their carts; 58 percent only put something in a cart when they intend to purchase it, while 19 percent use their carts as wish lists, or reminders.

To get started using #AmazonCart, users just need to enter their Twitter name or email, plus password, on the Amazon site, and give their consent to allow the software to read their Tweets and see who follows them.

“No more switching apps, typing in passwords or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter,” Amazon says in a promotional video. “Save it to your cart now, and check out later.”

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.