The more channels that customers use to browse the internet, the more important it is to lower barriers between social marketing and sales.

At present, social marketing does the bulk of heavy lifting where awareness and engagement are concerned. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are helpful for keeping customers up-to-date about promotions, while also serving as customer service platforms. Channels like Pinterest and Instagram have branched out into more active selling roles by lowering barriers between social posts and purchases, but social shopping hasn’t quite gone mainstream — until now.

According to a post by Amazon, the mega-seller and Twitter have teamed up to streamline the purchasing process – while opening possibilities for online brands to sell their goods and services.

#AmazonCart: where worlds collide

When brands or users post Tweets that contain links to Amazon product pages, others can reply to them with “#AmazonCart.” The item will then be added to their shopping carts.

The new feature is fairly straightforward. First, people must connect their Twitter accounts with Amazon profiles. When brands or users post Tweets that contain links to Amazon product pages, others can reply to them with “#AmazonCart.” The item will then be added to their shopping carts, and the checkout can be finalized by logging into Amazon and confirming purchases.

This move is an open acknowledgement that the buyer’s journey is a tangled web. It’s also a brilliant way to capitalize on customers’ modern web browsing habits. Rather than moving from need to awareness to purchase in a straightforward manner, customers might not realize they have a problem that requires a solution until they’ve already seen a product. Conversely, they may see an item and wish to make a purchase, but they’ve already put it out of their mind.

Social connection increases purchases

#AmazonCart establishes a model all online retailers or service providers should follow. Marketers should keep a close eye on social media activity to see when individual users are inquiring about purchases.

They also must remember to be present on channels like Facebook and Twitter to establish that there’s a real person at the helm of their social profiles. As social channels become intertwined with other parts of the web, it’s essential to make sure web marketing doesn’t get hung up on expecting leads and prospects to shop a particular way. Instead, selling patterns should account for the increasingly indirect ways modern customers shop.

Want to learn more? Check out these related Brafton articles:

Content marketing in 2014 is all about the buyer’s journey [study]
B2Bs & B2Cs get ROI from different content marketing channels
Online shoppers rely on search for research

Alex Butzbach

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.