Online shopping has been wildly popular over the past few years as it does not require people to move around the congested city to get goods they need or the ones they simply desire to have. It is, in fact, easier for both sellers and buyers to make deals. Despite the simplicity, both sides (especially buyers) need to be careful so as not to get deceited. Considering that products can only be seen through the photos uploaded and posted by sellers, buyers do not have a chance to see, feel, and check the quality of the actual product until payment is made and the item is delivered to the buyer. For that reason alone, customers should be able to identify which e-commerce sites are trustworthy and which are not.
Inspired by Instagram
One of today’s biggest e-commerce sites is Amazon and in order to maintain its domination, the online company has recently launched Amazon Spark. The idea for the new app comes from combining the functions of favourite media social platforms (in this case, Instagram and Facebook) with e-commerce features that Amazon offers. In this new app, there are not merely products on display, but also content feeds based on customers’ personal preferences. However, just like the platform, it is trying to copy, Amazon Spark can only be used on mobile devices and for now it is solely compatible with iOS version. It is said that they are still working on its compatibility with Android system.
A spokesperson from Amazon reveals that the reason behind Spark is that the company is trying to provide more opportunities for the Amazon community to learn and connect more. This means Amazon Spark users do not need to use other image-focused apps, like Instagram and Pinterest, to find more ideas and products related to their liking. They can now comment, put a “smile” on posts they like and directly tap the shoppable feeds or the shopping bag icons of the products they fancy having to make purchases. Simple and no worries of being deceived. In addition, according to the research director of Gartner, Bob Hetu, by being able to see the customers’ behavior pattern on the social media app, the company can figure out things that interest them, which in the end leads to more sales.
Here’s how Spark works
Should you be interested to experience the newly launched app and happen to own a mobile phone operating on iOS, here are the steps: download Amazon Shopping App (it is free), start the app and once you are on its navigation, go to its Programs and Features, select Amazon Spark, register (just like any other social media apps) and then, right before you can start using the app, you will be required to choose at least five categories that match your interest and whether you will be happy to receive notifications (images, products, advertisements, reviews) related to the selected categories. Upon completing the seven simple steps, you will immediately be presented with feeds of your favourite things. You will be able to scroll through an Instagram-like feed, all inside the app. Spark will highlight which items in the image are available to buy on Amazon — in this case, it’s the rug, mistletoe, and sunglasses.
The Future of Spark
Although the future success of Amazon Spark still cannot be guaranteed, the fact that it offers greater marketing promotion for online sellers seems unquestionable. With its being free of charge and preferred feeds presented to the customers, there may be a good chance that people who usually buy things from Instagram will convert to Amazon Spark. It is due to the fact that Instagram was not purposefully made for e-commerce. It does not provide any functions so as to help bridge any online transactions, and more often than not, those selling products on Instagram provide neither detailed descriptions of the products nor any trusted product reviews. On the contrary, Amazon Spark even allows customers to see the number of products in stock. As to be certain whether product reviews given by fellow shoppers can be relied on or not, Amazon Spark gives virtual badges to confirm the validity of their reviews. Besides, there is one more aspect that makes Instagram even less beneficial for online business: it is not equipped with payment flexibilities, like an e-commerce site should. Considering the three main drawbacks of the other social media platform, Amazon Spark seems to have quite promising future for online business.
For those excited to make money on the new app, there are at least these two factors that may be important to note. while it is free to download and use the app, to be able to post your product or comment, you need to join Prime Amazon membership with $99 yearly fee. The amount is surely debatable, depending on how much prospective earning you will be able to bring home. To predict better, please consider whether the products you are trying to sell can be made to look “photogenic” in images or not.