With the introduction of #AmazonCart, the line between social media and ecommerce has been blurred even further, paving the way for unlimited reach and sales tools, but is it sustainable? 

Social media and ecommerce retailers have long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. Social media is proven to drive purchasing decisions – so much so that 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide their purchase decisions.

Other than webpages and paid media ads, social media websites and profiles are where a consumer is most likely to see products that they love. Additionally, consumers rely heavily on the recommendations of their personal network when it comes to purchasing decisions. The old adage remains true, in this case: word of mouth is the best advertising money can’t buy.

I added in that last part. Below are a few examples of social media and ecommerce working together to shorten the road between intent and purchase.

#AmazonCart

As previously mentioned above, Amazon rolled out a new social media initiative: #AmazonCart. The idea behind #AmazonCart is simple: just reply to any tweet containing an Amazon product link with ‘#AmazonCart’, and that product will automatically be added to your Amazon shopping cart. All you need to do is sync your Twitter account with your Amazon account. The process is relatively easy, assuming that you find a compelling product linked in a Tweet that scrolls by in your feed. It looks a little something like this:

1. Find a Tweet with an Amazon product link and simply reply with #AmazonCart:

2. Your Tweet is immediately replied too and your product is added to your Amazon cart. It’s pure magic:

#AmazonCart is a fantastic idea and really requires little to no effort on behalf of the consumer. The only real challenge is finding Tweets with Amazon links within them.

PRO TIP for brands: Your Twitter followers are either existing customers or very likely to buy from you at some point in the future. Include Amazon product links (assuming your product is available on Amazon) in your regularly scheduled content. As a component of your content marketing strategy, taking advantage of this effortless way to guide consumers from social media to point of purchase may very well help boost sales.

#BirdsEyeInspirations on Instagram = Free Meal

In the UK, frozen foods brand Birds Eye launched a pop up shop to build some buzz for their new Inspirations line of prepared meals. Diners at three Birds Eye UK pop up shops could dine for free by simply uploading a photo of their meal with ‘#BirdsEyeInspirations’ and having their waiter verify the upload.

This isn’t the first time that pay-by-picture has been used by a brand, but it has certainly been a very successful venture. This creative use of Instagram as a currency does a few things: It changes the perception of ‘Foodstagramming’ by making it a useful action, and it allows the brand to enjoy all of the earned media content being contributed by their community.

Although Instagram is limited by the somewhat exclusive nature of its platform (users can’t necessarily re-share content, and linking out to websites is nonexistent), marketers see it as a valuable tool in their content marketing toolkit.

So, What’s Next?

Only time will tell how useful social media will remain as a selling tool for brands and businesses. Creative campaigns like pay-by-the picture may seem like novelty, one-time events, but they will shape the future of integration between social media and ecommerce.

As data privacy becomes a larger concern, consumers may start to button up and share less. It will be interesting to see how big brands deal with consumers shifting towards being less open about what they do online and what products they buy.

What other changes do you see coming in ecommerce due to social media? Let me know in the comments below!

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