American Express is utilizing an unlikely social media site as a social commerce platform – Twitter. Last year, AE unveiled the ability for card members to connect their accounts and tweet hashtags to receive merchant offers. Now, less than two weeks after Facebook and Discover announced their partnership on the Facebook Card, American Express is taking Twitter to the next level.
American express unveiled a new idea to card carrying tweeters, users can link their Twitter accounts with their American Express accounts and tweet specified hashtags to actually buy products on the social network. The program is the latest in a variety of partnerships American Express has carried out since 2011, when the credit card company released its Card Sync technology – connecting card members with their Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Xbox Live accounts. While those programs were successful, they only delivered deals, not actual products.
“We’ve been doing a lot in the area of social commerce over the past two years,” said Leslie Berland, svp of digital partnerships and development at American Express in a recent article by Adweek. “Twitter Offers launched last year, and the response has been pretty fantastic. We want to bring in the new technology that we have to life in a most dramatic way, which we think Twitter is ripe for.”
Amex’s Twitter Offers program has run thousands of offers from merchants across the country, resulting in millions of dollars saved by card members, Berland explained. The Sync program typically appeals younger than average card members who are just as affluent, she added.
According to an article by Adweek, at launch, card members who have opted in can purchase a $25 Amex gift card for $15. On Wednesday five more products were added: a $149 Amazon Kindle Fire HD, a $179 Sony Action Cam and waterproof headband mount, an $80 Urban Zen bracelet designed by Donna Karan, a $179 Microsoft Xbox 360 (including a 3-month Xbox Live subscription, two game tokens and a $29 Xbox controller). Those products will be available until March 3 if they’re not out sold out by then.
“To bring this to market, we wanted to leverage our relationships with some of our largest, most global merchant partners to provide products that have massive yield and are simply conveyed in 140 characters or less,” said American Express’ head of business and product development Dave Wolf. “This is sort of round one.”
Each unique good will be associated with its own hashtag. In addition, the products will be featured as a favorite on Amex’s Twitter page. After users tweet a hashtag, they’ll get an automated response to their Twitter account with a confirmation code. Users have 15 minutes to tweet the confirmation hashtag. Once they do, Amex will process the order and send the product via free two-day shipping.