Amazon and Twitter are already gearing up for holiday shopping with the launch of a new hashtag-triggered shopping tool today. Amazon's new initiative is dubbed #AmazonWishList and builds on a similar initiative that the online giant rolled out in May. Now, when Twitter users see a tweet with an Amazon link in it, they can reply to the tweet with the hashtag #AmazonWishList. Doing so will automatically drop the product into an Amazon Wishlist account.
To add the feature, consumers first have to link their Twitter and Amazon accounts via a microsite. Once an item is added to a shopping cart, consumers receive an email and a tweet from Amazon confirming that the item was added.
But Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester Research's retail analyst, called the program cumbersome and questioned if a good chunk of users might not use the service because they don’t want to share wish lists with others.
"All of our research says that consumers don't really use wish lists and use persistent shopping carts to save items," Mulpuru said. "I'm not sure what the value to Amazon is in this case other than that it is a discrete project that won't adversely affect any other part of its business, could get them some media exposure and may even get some consumer usage, though probably not much."
Testing Social Commerce
Amazon's newest experiment with Twitter is just the latest example of commerce on the social media site.
Earlier this month, Twitter rolled out a universal 'buy' button so that marketers can drive conversions from tweets.
Programs like Twitter Amplify are also aimed at spurring sales by linking TV and social ad buys.
Despite all of the tests that Twitter has in the works, Mulpuru noted that it’s not clear what the site's strategy is with social commerce.
"They spend a lot of their money on R&D and sales, and much of that is to explore business opportunities like retail and sales, but the truth is that Twitter hasn't found its voice yet," she said. "It could be powerful in retail with photos in stream and a buy button and solutions like what AmEx and Chirpify have experimented with, but I don't think they've had a runaway success yet."