Amazon turns to social networks for sales
Amazon and MasterCard think Facebook can help their bottom lines.
The use of social networks to sell products and services gets more complex by the day. The latest scheme to tap into the swarms of people who congregate at Facebook is a program from MasterCard (MA) and Amazon (AMZN).
The promotion encourages consumers to go to a new Web site to buy gifts for their social network “friends.” They, they can look up personal characteristics like age and sex, and choose presents accordingly.
The promotion will cost the two companies plenty of money. MasterCard will use TV commercials to promote the program. Amazon will give out $10 gift certificates to certain participants. Each is betting that people will use their social network relationships to buy presents for the holidays.
The idea faces one big hurdle. Most shoppers just want to go to a store or an e-commerce site, buy a gift, “sign” a card, and send it to a friend or family member. Anything that adds to that process is almost certainly superfluous.
Top Stocks writer Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.
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