A new service called @sggst (pronounced ‘suggest’) that enables Twitter users to find products on Amazon has launched its beta service in the UK.
Twitter users who include @sggst and the name of a product in a tweet, receive a tweet back with a link to buy the product at the best price available on Amazon.
The service works by recognizing tweets that have mentioned @sggst along with other content and then, using an Amazon API, @sggst queries the Amazon product database.
A link is then tweeted back to the person who sent the original tweet. They can click and buy the product from the link and @sggst earns an affiliate commission on the eventual purchase.
Currently @sggst queries the Amazon UK database, but there are plans to roll out the service globally and with other major retailers. Any retailer with an API and an affiliate scheme is eligible.
@sggst was the brainchild of digital media entrepreneur Jonathan MacDonald, MD of specialist agency JMA, co-founder of business and marketing consultancy This Fluid World and campaign personalisation service, Human Dialogue.
To build the service, Jonathan MacDonald partnered with a leading web agency, Netro42, whose clients include MSN, Northern & Shell, Top Gear and Land Rover. @sggst is jointly owned by JMA and Netro42.
Jonathan MacDonald said: “I was originally inspired by the Penn State research at the end of 2009 which found that 20% of tweets were brand-related. At the same time there was a great deal of talk about Twitter trying to find revenue models. I looked into what would actually be valuable to people, rather than just putting adverts in tweets, and came up with the idea to use Twitter to find the best prices on products”.