- Taking a bet on social commerce, Amazon announced on Thursday that it is rolling out a new in-app feature called Inspire, a content hub for customers to discover and explore products, according to details shared with Retail Dive. The photo and video-based content — which is created by brands, influencers and other customers — is in a scrolling format that can be engaged with through likes, and will include links to Amazon products featured.
- The new feature will begin rollout to select U.S. users starting early December, and will become available to all users in the country in the coming months.
- Within the Amazon mobile app, users will be able to access the content through a light bulb icon in the lower navigation bar. From there, customers are asked what topics or interests they’d like to see content related to, such as pets, gaming or makeup.
The shoppable content function Amazon was rumored to be testing in August is finally being rolled out, putting the e-commerce giant in competition with apps like TikTok and Instagram where influencers promote products.
“Engaging and fun short-form video content is the easiest way to get my audience’s attention,” Practically Pursia, an Amazon influencer, said in a statement. “Inspire is going to help me expand the business I’ve already built with Amazon by giving my audience the convenience of shopping items from my content within the Amazon app instead of requiring them to leave and find the item on their own. It’s genius.”
The launch comes as Amazon faces challenges in its retail division. The company canceled or postponed the opening of multiple fulfillment warehouses, and CEO Andy Jassy has been overseeing layoffs and hiring freezes within the retail arm of the business. It also closed many of its non-grocery physical stores this year.
Social commerce continues to be a growing focus for many social media apps as well as brands. In October, TikTok started posting job openings for fulfillment centers, indicating an interest in having a more direct role in the product promotion occurring on its app. Formal attire retailer David’s Bridal started a campaign on TikTok with shoppable content in June, which brought in a click-through rate twice it's average. Apparel company Pacsun has also been betting big on TikTok’s reach to customers, hitting its goal to have 2 million followers on the app in August.