Black Friday is here early and it may start on the app known for ephemeral messaging. The e-commerce giant grows its social media efforts in order to attract more mobile-friendly shoppers.
Snap up these deals before they’re gone in 10 seconds. Literally.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer by revenue, hopes to boost sales with a new take on social shopping — using a Snapchat account to send gift ideas, recommendations and exclusive deals that disappear in seconds. The company will send out its first “snap” on Thursday.
The account — announced Wednesday alongside a new Instagram feed for its site and an early kickoff for Black Friday deals — is Amazon’s latest effort to grab the attention of shoppers glued to social networks on their smartphones and tablets. The company in May created a hashtag for Twitter that would let people put products in their Amazon shopping cart just by responding to a tweet.
Consumers are spending more time and money on mobile, and Amazon is trying to keep those dollars in its network by reaching out to social media followers.
The new Instagram feed, which draws from Amazon’s existing account, encourages users to buy items its posted to its profile. A click on the product image send the user straight to the product page.
Amazon’s Instagram account has more than 94,000 followers, and the company said it plans to increase the activity. It promoted its new Snapchat account to its Instagram followers on Wednesday, posting a video of a Snapchat’s ghost icon with an Amazon logo imposed on its face.
“Oh Snap!” read the caption.
All about mobile
During the last holiday season, half of Amazon’s customers shopped from a mobile device, according to John Yurcisin, Amazon’s director of social.
Now, Amazon aims to attract even more mobile consumers — by going to where it thinks those people are.
“Instagram and Snapchat are the two of the fastest growing mobile social networks where people are engaging and interacting with each other in entirely new ways,” Yurcisin said.
Social media is already a big part of how the retail industry does business. Most retailers use to their accounts to stay in touch with their consumers and, often times, provide customer service, or deals and promotions. Amazon itself has built up a presence on Facebook, with its page receiving more than 25.7 million likes. Consumers share product pages on social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest more than a million times a week, according to the company.
Yurcisin said Amazon knows it has to keep improving what it does on social media to keep up with consumers taste. And that’s where Instagram and Snapchat come in.
Instagram attracts roughly 40 million unique users who only access the site on mobile devices, according to a May report from ComScore on Instagram’s role in retail. Snapchat, which is only accessible through an app, has 21.7 million.
Both have mobile audiences that are growing rapidly, according to the report, with Instagram increasing its mobile users by 45 percent since last year.
The numbers might seem promising, but Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali said it’s still too early to tell for most social media experiment, but particularly Snapchat.
“It’s all experimental,” Mulpuru-Kodali said.
She said Facebook’s “buy” button seems the most promising. The social media started testing a new ad that lets merchants insert a “buy” button within a post. Users can then buy directly through the page. Twitter is testing a similar button for tweets, and a few brands are running campaigns on Instagram that link the “like” button to an emailed offer.