The Shoppers New Social Media Platform

If you love to shop, then Amazon has created a platform designed especially for you.

Last week, Amazon announced their new social media platform – Amazon Spark. There have already been multiple blogs on how it works and how to get into it (its on the mobile app only for iOS users under features and products) – one really solid article is here from TechCrunch.

So this article isn’t about the HOW of using Amazon Spark – my questions were from a business perspective – will this help my clients that are selling items on Amazon improve their business? Or hurt it?

Many have compared Spark to Pinterest or Instagram. It is, what I believe, to be a IMG_1382beautiful combination of them both. It is image focused, which is paramount for any type of product purchase, and allows you to provide shoppable links to Amazon for your items.

You caught that right?

It will link to products ONLY ON AMAZON. It’s an Amazon product so its not a shocker, but this is paramount for anyone not on Amazon, because it probably won’t help you to be on the platform if you aren’t selling on Amazon.

But if you are! Wow…this has potential. My eyes literally started to just see dollar signs add up as I was scrolling the feed. There are beautiful pictures from both Amazon Prime users (only Amazon Prime users who spend a minimum amount can post at this time) and sponsored posts.

Amazon makes it so easy to click to purchase. You see an image, click the shopping bag and little dots appear with the items that are listed on Amazon. A new Coach purse was easily dropped into my shopping bag…a little too easily. Once you add an item to your cart you do need to use the back button to get back to Spark, which for someone who is used to easily staying within a feed can be a bit annoying, but if you are only one step away from the feed it is an easy switch back.

Amazon doesn’t care if you are lost in the world of more Amazon products, but as a business, you want them to stay in the feed. You want them to scroll and find your images and see what is new and exciting in the lives of people who share your love of Amazon and the trends and interests you have chosen.

A few things make this app different from others out there.

There are no filters. You can’t adjust your images or edit them in any way at this time. To me, this isn’t a big deal. If you are a business looking to sell on Amazon, then you need to have a photographer take some images regardless. Now you will need some lifestyle images with your products in use as well.

IMG_1296The platform is not hashtag driven, but the explore function will easily pick up on key words in descriptions. You can’t tag a post if it is not an Amazon category, but including a keyword somewhere will still allow it to pop up if someone is searching for a post related to your field of interest. For example, I put in Montessori and up popped a book that someone had posted. It wasn’t sponsored and it didn’t have a tag, but it found it much like any other search on Amazon would.

Lastly, your audience is defined by their own interests and not by you. It is more like Twitter in the sense that people are just appearing. You don’t go out and seek followers and people can’t follow you. Everything you post is public, and anyone can comment or smile (like) one of your posts or comments. To me, this is a good thing for a retailer because your audience is all of Amazon prime’s customers that are using the platform, who have said they are interested in what you are selling. This is a group of like minded individuals to build relationships with and get excellent feedback!

Amazon has created a targeted market for you to sell to full of people who love to buy. If you are a seller or vendor on Amazon than this is a no brainer to me. You can not only interact with fans – people who are posting about your products and leaving reviews, but you can post your own images to place your product in an excellent light.

There are still a few unknowns. How do you become a #sponsored poster on Spark and how will the influencers in their newest program use the platform? RightVW FF 721 now, both of those questions are unanswered but I’m sure they will be soon.

Bottom line – if you are selling items on Amazon then you need to get in on Spark. Do I see it becoming a mainstream social media platform? No. But it’s not supposed to be. It’s for people who like to buy. And as marketers and business owners, we REALLY like those people. 😉

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