Amazon Inspire, A New Wave of Product Discovery
With social media platforms like TikTok stepping into the world of eCommerce and threatening Amazon’s dominance in the shopping industry, the eCommerce giant has to step up its game to maintain its prominence. In an effort to do just that, Amazon is bringing back Inspire to its app, a TikTok-like shopping experience.
Can Amazon preserve its clout and revenue with TikTok’s unprecedented growing popularity with Inspire? This article outlines a brief history of the origins of Amazon Inspire, explains its latest version, what it does, and how Amazon sellers can leverage the platform to increase sales and ensure product relevance in 2023.
A Short History of Amazon Inspire
Amazon first launched Inspire in 2016. Initially, the feature was designed as a free online service for searching, discovering, and distributing educational resources. The platform provided digital access to a wide variety of educational resources, including lesson plans, activities, videos, and quizzes.
One of the main features of the original Amazon Inspire was its collection of lesson plans, which were created and shared by educators from around the world. These lesson plans covered a wide range of subjects and grade levels and could be easily searched and filtered by subject, grade level, and resource type. Educators could also create and share their own lesson plans on the platform.
Another key feature of the former Amazon Inspire was its community aspect. Educators had the ability to connect with one another on the platform, share resources and best practices, and collaborate on creating new educational materials. This allowed instructors to tap into the collective knowledge and experience of their peers and to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in education.
However, a year later, in 2017, Amazon Inspire remained limited to an invitation-only beta. According to EdSurge, the ambitious project blundered shortly after its launch “when some educators complained that other users had posted their teaching material without permission.” The feature quickly disappeared into oblivion and was never talked about again. Fast forward seven years to a time when social commerce is becoming increasingly commonplace, Amazon announced the rollout of its latest shopping feed called Inspire. This is the Amazon Inspire everyone is talking about in 2023.
What Is Amazon Inspire 2023?
The Amazon Inspire making headlines today is something completely different. The TikTok-inspired app, otherwise known as Amazon Inspire, is Amazon’s latest project, which brings a new short-form video and photo feed to its users. Essentially, this new and improved Amazon Inspire allows shoppers to explore products and shop from content created by influencers, brands, and other consumers directly within a personalized feed. The feature is Amazon’s attempt to draw shoppers’ attention away from apps like TikTok and Instagram to create an environment in which brands selling on Amazon can directly market to consumers and drive more sales on the platform.
In an attention economy, where attention is becoming increasingly scarce, Amazon Inspire is a way for Amazon customers to browse, discover, and shop for new products that match their shopping interests. Comparable to reels, Amazon Inspire features vertical short-form videos, images, and other product content that creates an immersive and fun shopping experience compared to traditional product listings.
When Will Amazon Inspire Become Available?
According to Amazon, as of early December, Inspire has already become available to select customers in the US. The feature is planned to be released and available to all US customers in the coming months.
How Does Amazon Inspire Work?
For shoppers, getting started is simple. First, they’ll open the Amazon Shopping app and click on the light bulb icon on the navigation bar. Then, they’ll have to set up their feed by filling in the “What are you interested in?” section and selecting categories of interest, such as interior design, gaming, running, mixology, travel, wedding, pets, skincare, coffee making, etc.
Doing so allows Amazon to create a curated, shoppable feed populated with personalized photos and video content based on their selected interests and engagement. Next, it’s simple and pretty straightforward; all users have to do is browse and shop as they scroll through their feeds. Many shoppers are curious about whether or not Inspire will be available on desktop. Given the nature of the feature, the short answer is no. Inspire will only be available to consumers when using the Amazon Shopping app.
With increased usage and longer browsing sessions on the app, the shoppers’ feeds will gradually become more personalized as the app gathers information about their preferences through engagement with the content.
How to Create Content for Amazon Inspire?
Three categories of users can create content for Amazon Inspire. They include customers, Amazon influencers, and brands. For customers to create content, any product review they submit has the potential to appear in Inspire. For those Amazon influencers enrolled in the Amazon Influencer Program, all photos and videos posted on their Amazon Influencer storefront are eligible to appear in Inspire. Lastly, any vendor or seller registered in Amazon’s Brand Registry Program with an active Brand Store can have their photos that have been posted to Brand Posts appear in Inspire.
Benefits of Amazon Inspire for Brands
Amazon sellers and brands can reap many benefits by leveraging Amazon Inspire to showcase their products to existing and new customers. Perhaps the most significant benefits of Amazon Inspire include increased product discoverability, boosted brand awareness, improved customer engagement, enhanced user experience, and increased sales.
1. Increased Product Discoverability
Amazon Inspire would allow sellers to showcase their products to a wider audience, increasing the chance of discovery by potential customers through features such as shoppable posts and product tags.
2. Boosted Brand Awareness
By having an active presence on social eCommerce platforms, like Amazon Inspire, brands and sellers can increase their brand visibility, helping build brand and strengthen recognition.
3. Improved Customer Engagement
Amazon Inspire would also allow sellers to interact with customers in real-time, building relationships and providing valuable insights into customer behavior.
4. Enhanced User Experience
Amazon Inspire’s easy-to-use interface would make it simpler for customers to find and purchase products and interact or share content on their feed, ultimately enhancing user experience.
5. Increased Sales
By providing an easy and convenient way for customers to discover and purchase products, Amazon Inspire can help to drive sales and increase revenue for sellers.
In short, Amazon Inspire is the company’s latest jump into the world of social eCommerce and has the utmost potential to draw younger generations away from social media platforms like TikTok and back to its platform when it comes to shopping. Amazon could not be jumping on the social eCommerce bandwagon at a better time. Now more than ever, in 2023, social eCommerce is undeniably relevant and increasingly important due to its ability to blend the power of social media with the convenience of online shopping.
This allows businesses to reach a larger audience, build relationships with customers, and personalize the shopping experience. Consumers can easily discover, interact with, and purchase products directly from social media platforms, leading to a rise in mobile commerce and impulse purchases. The trend toward social eCommerce will continue in the coming years, making it crucial for businesses to stay competitive and reach customers effectively.