There is no doubt that e-commerce revolutionized retail, and now we’re looking at what could be the beginning of the next new wave of digital shopping — the buy-via-Twitter model.
American Express is kicking off a new initiative today that enables accountholders to purchase products by merely tweeting. If you know Chirpify, the service that turned Twitter and Instagram into shopping platforms, then this will seem familiar to you. But the approach gets a leg up now with powerhouse American Express jumping into the fray. The service is powered by the company’s Card Sync technology, which allows merchants to promote coupons and discounts to users who tweet with specified hashtags. The new offering follows suit by letting designated hashtags trigger the actual transactions.
Here’s how it works: Accountholders link their AmEx cards to their Twitter account, and then sign up to follow @AmericanExpress on Twitter. The account tweets out promotions for available products using particular hashtags. If users see one they want to buy, they tweet using that hashtag. AmEx — via @AmerSync — replies with a confirmation hashtag that users tweet back within 15 minutes to seal the deal.
Looks like Twitter finally gets that elusive pathway for monetization. And power Twitter users get buying opportunities through a platform they’re already using, which is pretty handy. Of course, if you’re not hot about telling the whole world (or your followers) about your shopping habits, this may not be the ideal way forward, but the promotions and discounts offered could make you forget about that. There’s a decent assortment at launch, including AmEx gift cards and items from Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Xbox 360. For example, you could get an Amazon Kindle Fire HD device for just $149.99, as well as a $179.99 Sony Action Cam & Waterproof Headband Mount, a $179.99 Xbox 360 4GB game console with 3-month Xbox LIVE subscription and 2 game tokens, among other things.
What do you think? Could you see tweet-commerce taking off as a viable shopping option for the masses? Or is this a terrible idea that will clog the Twitterverse with a multitude of shopping tweets? Weigh in.