The problem of selling and tracking sales through social media is one that continues to plague any sized business. While using the platforms for conversation is one thing, being able to monitor what posts influence which buying decisions is another entirely.

While there is good evidence showing social media posts have influenced buying decisions, few businesses have actually tried to merge social media and the purchasing of goods, (just as Nielsen has merged television ratings and social conversation).

Amazon has introduced a new feature which enables customers to add items to their shopping carts through Twitter feeds. By replying to a message with an Amazon product link using the hashtag #amazoncart, that product is then placed in the customer’s shopping cart the next time they visit the site.

While some consumers might not necessarily be as comfortable as Amazon would like with sharing what exactly they’re going to buy, this is yet another step forward in how retailers are breaking down barriers between different points of sale.

The always-on customer demands interaction at any point. While many businesses have been proactive in allowing sales through multiple platforms, buying directly from social is difficult. Amazon’s dedication to R&D has enabled the interaction between channels to become even more seamless.

However, while buying products over social platforms is a solid step forward, the real benefit is being able to track and measure purchases. Part of the difficulty with Twitter and Facebook is not being able to determine their relationship to individual transactions. Amazon’s new feature could be a step forward – but for many others the search will continue.