Amazon recently announced that you can add items to your Amazon shopping cart via Twitter by using the hashtag #AmazonCart. That’s pretty big news for authors, as Twitter is the main social media channel for us to connect with current and potential readers.
Here’s how it works: If I Tweet out a link to my book on Amazon, anyone can reply* to that tweet with the hashtag #AmazonCart, and my book will automatically be placed in their shopping cart without them having to leave Twitter. The next time they visit Amazon, that book will be waiting for them in their cart.
That may sound silly at first blush, as anyone can just click the book link in my tweet and go purchase the book right then and there. But a lot of people don’t do that. They see something they might want to purchase, and maybe they click the link, but they end up promising themselves they’ll come back later. A lot of those potential purchases get lost, because people move on to something else, or they forget to come back later. I’m guilty of the that all the time. I see tweets for books, games and movies that I might purchase later. But most times I never circle back around.
With that in mind, think of #AmazonCart as a kind of bookmarking system. Someone sees your tweet and decides they might want to check out your book, so they reply with #AmazonCart, and it’s now in their cart. Sometime later, they’re on Amazon and they give your book a look, deciding at that point if they really want to get it or not. Now, a good chunk of those people might just remove it from their cart and decide not to purchase, but they are still potential sales, and giving them the option to bookmark your book is one way of standing out from the million other book tweets they’ll probably see on Twitter on any given day.
Of course, this system has the potential to be abused by those authors who are already spamming people with book tweets. But, I think people will just unfollow those annoying non-stop marketers faster now. For the rest of us, we’re just offering another way for people to check out our books, and that’s a great thing.
*NOTE: In order for the hashtag to to work, you have to connect your twitter account with your Amazon account. If you're not sure how to do that, there's an FAQ on the announcement page for #AmazonCart