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Amazon Debuts ‘Consult-a-Friend’ Mobile Shopping Feature

Amazon Shopping app

Amazon wants shoppers to get real-life feedback within the virtual world of its mobile ad.

The retail giant on Thursday (Oct. 19) introduced Consult-a-Friend, a new mobile shopping experience now in testing that lets shoppers request, see and manage friends’ feedback on products on the Amazon Shopping app.

“Customers look to a variety of sources when making purchasing decisions, and recommendations from friends and family are often among the most trusted sources,” Amazon said in a news release.

“Our own data supports that customers are frequently sharing products with others. In fact, so far this year, customers used the ‘Share’ button in the Amazon Shopping app billions of times to share products via messaging services, social media apps, and email.”

Amazon said early testing shows customers are especially interested in receiving feedback on apparel, shoes, electronics and furniture. And the eCommerce giant added that with the holidays approaching, Consult-a-Friend can streamline group gifts by keeping everyone’s responses in one location.

To use Consult-a-Friend, shoppers can hit the “Share” button and see an “Ask for your friends’ votes” button. From there, they pick their preferred messaging app and designated recipients.

Friends will get a message pointing them to a Consult-a-Friend link to enter the Amazon Shopping app, where they can see product details and choose a quick emoji reaction (an overjoyed face, sad face or “I’m thinking” face) or add their own thoughts.

The tool is being tested with select customers in a number of countries, including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

Consult-a-Friend marks Amazon’s latest venture into the social commerce space. Earlier this year, the company introduced its TikTok-like Inspire shopping feed that is now available to all customers in the U.S.

The tool includes a short-form video and photo feed, letting consumers delve into products, ideas, and shop directly from content generated by influencers, brands and other customers.

“Unlike TikTok, Amazon takes a different approach by placing a strong emphasis on promoting products,” PYMNTS wrote. “While people use social media platforms not just for shopping inspiration but also to seek information and entertainment, Amazon’s main focus is on integrating short-form videos as a means of engagement.”

Amazon’s product rollout is happening on the eve of a holiday shopping season that will belong to mobile buyers, according to a recent report from Adobe.

The company earlier this month released its online holiday shopping forecast for 2023, projecting $221.1 billion in online sales, a 4.8% increase from last year.

“Additionally, shopping on mobile devices is expected to hit a major milestone, surpassing desktop and driving over half (51.2%) of all online spending this season,” the report said.

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