Amex Lets You Pay With a #Hashtag [Video]


The next big thing in Checkout-less Commerce…


Until now, Twitter-commerce was only possible through referral links, with conversion rates somewhere around 0.5%.  But Amex has come up with an innovative way to sell socially — without a checkout process.  Amex Sync lets you buy with just a #hashtag.

How it works is simple.  Amex holders sync their card and Twitter accounts, and follow @AmexSync to watch for deals of the day and corresponding hashtags.  @AmexSync will respond with a confirmation hashtag, which the user must retweet within 15 minutes.  The product is then delivered to the billing address connected to the Amex card.


Amex also has a (previously launched) Offers program, where discounts can be claimed through the same process, and savings can occur when you purchase at the Offer retailer’s website (so long as the synced Amex is used for payment).

Aside from making impulse buying frictionless, the brilliance is the baked-in social component — all sales through the channel are broadcast through the cardholder’s network.  Twitter accounts must be public in order for @AmexSync to read and respond, so every offer claimed and purchase made is a public affair.

Participating brands benefit from the social boost.  Upcoming products include Kindle Fire, Donna Karan jewelry, Sony Action Cam and Xbox 360.


What’s most intriguing is that it’s not an online retailer that pioneered the convert-by-hashtag.  Amazon and eBay could have easily done this syncing, saved billing information.  Perhaps they will “follow.”  Any telecom could leverage carrier billing, or any loyalty program to generate excitement and bump up point-churn.

Of course, with all shiny objects, only time will tell if customers care about buying with hashtags.  The more exciting aspect is the ability to buy through an independent channel without enduring the traditional checkout process, or even visiting a website.

Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

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