What you need to know
- Amazon is bringing a new shoppable feed to its mobile app.
- The new shopping experience is called Inspire, and it displays short-form videos and photos that Amazon believes you will find interesting.
- You will then be able to explore and purchase products featured in your feed.
TikTok's video format is increasingly facing competition from tech giants, and Amazon is the latest to join the fray. The online retail giant has announced Inspire, a new short-form video experience that allows consumers to explore and buy products through a shoppable feed (via The Wall Street Journal).
Unlike TikTok's style, though, Amazon's Inspire adds photos to the mix, giving users more ways to discover products they may like from various content creators, brands, and even other customers. WSJ reports that Amazon has begun recruiting influencers to create videos for the shopping feed.
Owners of content featuring a specific product will presumably earn commissions, similar to other services with affiliate marketing programs. The shopping feed takes into account your preferences in order to create a unique feed that is distinct from any other feed displayed to consumers on the platform.
To get started, simply tap the light bulb icon in the app's bottom navigation bar. You will then be presented with various interests, ranging from interior design and camping to skin care and coffee making. You can choose any of these categories, and start scrolling through a customized shoppable feed.
Products featured in photos and videos are shown on screen. If a product piques your interest, you can take action by tapping any of the buttons, such as reading the reviews, viewing the product description, or adding an item to your cart.
Inspire obviously takes a page out of TikTok's playbook in a bid to cut into the ByteDance-owned service's market and lure some of TikTok's users into Amazon's new shopping experience. The video-music sharing platform currently has an in-app shopping experience that includes livestream shopping, TikTok Shop (a sort of affiliate marketing), and sponsored videos. TikTok Shop is also being tested in the United States.
Amazon is challenging TikTok's dominance in this segment by bringing product discovery and shopping experiences under one roof for consumers. Earlier this year, the retail behemoth launched an AR shopping tool to allow consumers to try on a pair of shoes, eyewear, and T-shirts virtually before buying them.
However, Inspire is only available on Android and iOS, skipping the desktop web version. It will be available to a limited number of customers in the U.S. beginning in early December. Amazon promises that the feature will be available to all customers in the country within the next few months.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.