First things first, if you haven’t heard of hashtag shopping, you’re not alone. A month after its roll out, it had less than four thousand users, so it’s not like it’s an idea whose time has come. It’s an emerging thing that some companies are toying with right now. The reason it’s news is because one of those companies happens to be a little outfit you might have heard of before called Amazon.
Okay, So What Is It?
First and foremost, it is a nod to the reality that more and more people are accessing the internet from their mobile devices than from their PCs. Second, it is an acknowledgment that Twitter is the second most popular social media platform on the web, and third, it is an attempt to go where the customers actually are.
Amazon is looking to accomplish this by way of a new thing called an “action tag.” It would work something like this. You’re either a member of Amazon’s Twitter feed, or the member of someone’s Twitter feed who is an Amazon affiliate. They send out a Tweet about a product.
If you reply to that tweet with the action tag “#AmazonCart,” it gets added to your Amazon Shopping cart and you can either complete the purchase with one click, or leave it in your shopping cart and do some more shopping before checkout.
Who Would Want To Do This?
You’re actually not alone in asking that question. As I mentioned, a month after rolling it out, the #AmazonCart action tag couldn’t even boast quite four thousand users, so it’s meeting some resistance in terms of acceptance. This is by no means because people are hesitant to make purchases on their mobile devices. In fact, that represents the largest and fastest growth segment of the online shopping market segment. Rather, the resistance seems to be stemming from the fact that people aren’t sure they want to merge shopping with their twitter feed, or other social media, for that matter. Note that FaceBook recently tried something similar, allowing people to make purchases from their news feed, and it bombed.
What Does The Future Hold?
It could be the case that companies will continue to prod this beast until consumers give in and start using the technology in this manner, but companies are for-profit entities. Those that spend too much time dabbling in things that don’t make money don’t usually wind up sticking around.
I expect that Amazon will give this an honest try, for 8-12 months. If it hasn’t caught on like wildfire by then, it’s probably not going to, and if they decide to abandon it, I can’t see another big company stepping up to the plate behind them to give it a try. It’s definitely something to watch, but at present, it ranks as more of a curiosity than an actual trend. Still, give it a try. You might be the person who makes it reach critical mass. You could be the trend setter!