Amazon app’s new Spark social commerce for iPhone

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Amazon are releasing a shoppable inspiration feed within the Amazon app, currently only available in the US and only on the iPhone version of their app.

My first impression is that it’s very reminiscent of the eBay Feed crossed with a bit of Instagram. Unlike eBay, instead of product shots Amazon want users to post Instagram style images of products that they love telling a story. Other users can ‘Smile’ (equivalent to a live of favourite button).

When you first set up Spark, Amazon will ask you to select at least five interests to personalise your Spark experience. Then Amazon will start streaming a feed of products and images related to the things you shop for and are interested in.

This is likely to be big in fashion, if someone posts their holiday snap with a shoulder bag that you love then you won’t have to search in order to buy one for yourself. Amazon’s magic will connect the image directly with the ability to purchase. Like the bikini or the sun hat too? Well another click and you can buy them if they’re available on Amazon as well.

To post on Spark you have to be an Amazon Prime member, but then if you have the Amazon app and have been sucked into Amazon’s ecosphere then you probably already subscribe. Reviews on Amazon are ok, but they’re as you’d expect – text only descriptions of the product with the occasional consumer image. It’s thought that Amazon will enable users to port their reviews to Spark in the future.

It would be no surprise is some of the bigger multichannel players figure out a way to auto-post to Spark and for marketeers to start creating Spark posts on behalf of merchants as click bait to sell products. Ecommerce merchants aren’t normally slow to jump on the bandwagon when they sniff some free traffic to their products so keep a watching eye on brands to see who is first to figure out a successful campaign. Likely, it’ll be someone like a fashion blogger who first gets paid to start posting a brands products on their personal account and it’ll be all about getting ‘Smiles’ to get popular products to the top of Spark’s feeds.

If it all pans out in the way that Amazon hopes, it’ll end up a way for them to pump the Prime model even more and get you hooked on posting and browsing Spark just as you do other social platforms with the big difference that Spark has shopping baked into it’s DNA whilst all their social competitors are still trying to figure out how to enable social commerce.

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