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Amazon breaks new ground with 'Giveaway' tool

2/10/2015 has long considered itself a pioneer of social shopping. But now the retailer has introduced a game-changing new service that allows customers to do their own social media marketing.

The new service, called Amazon Giveaway, is a self-service tool designed for Amazon customers who want to use giveaways to grow their social media followings and reward their customers and audience. Features include the ability to require contestants to follow the contest organizer on Twitter to be eligible for a chance to win a prize.

“The idea of running giveaway promotions is easy. They are a really effective way to attract attention and build engagement, but giveaways often come with hidden costs and complexities which makes the reality of running one hard,” said Steve Shure, VP of consumer marketing at Amazon. “Amazon Giveaway is the first self-service tool that takes care of all the hard work of a giveaway, from setting up all of the rules to shipping prizes directly to winners.”

Amazon Giveaway lets customers pick an eligible item from Amazon’s catalog, and then set the terms of the contest — including the number of items to give away, and the process for choosing winners. Organizers can run contests as first-come, first served, or “lucky number” giveaways that award a prize to every set number, such as every 25th entrant. Contestants click on a virtual Amazon box to see if they’ve won a prize.

Amazon accounts are used to verify user identity and prevent duplicate entries. Contest organizers — “hosts,” as Amazon calls them — pay for the giveaway items, tax and shipping, but Amazon handles everything on the back-end, leveraging its e-commerce and fulfillment infrastructure.

Indeed, while this new tool may help Amazon sell more stuff, it could also build brand awareness for Amazon’s many merchants, which in turn will lead to more sales on Amazon.

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