Amazon has launched Spark, a new feature within the Amazon app that allows users to shop for items within pictures on the platform, TechCrunch reports.
Only Prime members can post and comment on Spark, and it is unclear if Amazon plans to allow all shoppers to post, or keep it as a perk for subscribers.
Spark provides a social and personalized product discovery experience within Amazon’s app:
- Users must select a minimum of five “interests” to personalize their feed, with options including popular Amazon product categories like “home décor, ” as well as subjects like “dogs” and “BBQ.”
- Spark features pictures that one might expect to find on Instagram, but the feed is entirely shoppable. Users can click on a shopping bag icon to view and purchase the products through Amazon.
- Those who post on Spark are called “Enthusiasts” and earn badges for categories they post about. Users can follow other Enthusiasts to see the posts and products they share.
Amazon is likely looking to capitalize on young consumers’ interest in shopping through social media. The e-commerce giant is now the first site US consumers go to when they start their shopping process. But this trend might shift as younger generations mature — more than 80% of Gen Z consumers, and 74% of millennials, say social media influences their shopping. Spark is likely Amazon’s answer to this desire to shop through social channels, and could be a powerful way for the company to hook these customers as their spending power increases.
The company could use Spark to attract influencers, and young shoppers may follow. Apps with strong influencer communities are adding shopping features to their social media platforms, but they often struggle to create a smooth purchasing experience. By integrating social features into Amazon’s already built-out e-commerce platform, Spark could boast higher conversions rates, making the platform more attractive to brands and influencers pushing products.
This, in turn, may attract social media-focused Gen Z. Amazon is popular with all generations, but Gen Z is still developing allegiances and has shown an interest in brick-and-mortar. Spark could play to their interest in social media and lock them into Amazon like previous generations. Moreover, the company may use Spark to gather valuable data on the social media shopping habits of Gen Z and improve its recommendations system and other algorithms.
This article was originally published at Businessinsider.com, by author Daniel Keyes.