Amazon is the latest tech company to take a page out of TikTok’s playbook. The e-commerce giant announced it was launching a new feed in the Amazon app with photos and videos of items users can purchase, first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The feed, which Amazon is calling Inspire, is the company’s attempt at getting app users to make purchases as they’re seeing products in online content — something other tech companies are also attempting to do. TikTok has long been working on its own in-app shopping features, including livestream shopping, and YouTube added affiliate marketing and shopping to its TikTok copy, Shorts.
Inspire will appear as a lightbulb icon in the Amazon app and will roll out to select US shoppers early this month. The company has also been recruiting influencers, the Journal reports, to produce videos for the feed, along with selections from brands and regular customers, as it looks to tap into social shopping. Amazon began testing Inspire with employees this summer, as reported this summer by the Journal.
Once in the Inspire tab, shoppers can select from categories like interior design, pets, and skincare and scroll through content that features and links Amazon products. They can then purchase the items directly from the videos and photos.
Amazon is probably one of the few companies that could meaningfully challenge TikTok when it comes to consolidating product discovery and shopping under one roof. TikTok has already proven to be a powerful tool to drive sales of anything from makeup to cleaning products — the challenge is getting users to make purchases through the shortform video app. Many viral TikToks feature products available on Amazon, and influencers often refer viewers back to their Amazon storefronts to make purchases and earn themselves a commission. It makes sense that Amazon would want to claw back some of that user engagement.
But TikTok is also looking to expand its business to become more like Amazon. Job listings posted this fall suggest the company is working on its own fulfillment centers in the US to work in tandem with its shopping features. The company would provide warehousing and returns, according to the job ads.