Amazon Hopes to ‘Inspire’ Sales With Social Commerce

social commerce

Amazon has joined its Big Tech cohorts in trying to capture the social commerce market.

The retail giant on Thursday (Dec. 8) unveiled “Inspire,” a TikTok-like feature on its app that lets customers browse a custom photo/video feed to find products.

Amazon tells The Wall Street Journal it has debuted Inspire for a select group of customers but will roll it out across the U.S. in the months ahead.

Oliver Messenger, Amazon’s director of shopping, told the WSJ that short-form video “is an incredibly useful medium of helping people discover and understand products.”

“Video-based content really helps [customers] to understand the product more,” he added.

News broke in August that Amazon was testing Inspire with a small group of employees.

As PYMNTS noted at the time the lure of short-form videos to influence shoppers and move products is one of the hottest topics in the world of eCommerce, and platforms are considering it for good reason.

In the study “Benchmarking The World’s Digital Transformation,” a PYMNTS and Stripe collaboration, we found that “activities built for digital are capturing a high level of consumer engagement,” with video streaming and social media activities ranking among the top two of all the activities we studied.

Our research found that 61% and 56% of the populations across the 11 countries we studied engaged in those activities — 31% and 25%, respectively, doing so on a daily basis.

Last month saw YouTube expand its social commerce offerings, including the launch of the “From YouTube to You” project, which includes videos, livestreams, and Shorts featuring popular creators who offer gift suggestions and exclusive product drops and deals.

It’s part of a wider trend of tech companies, including Meta, Amazon and even TikTok itself, attempting to marry social media and shopping.

And after “a wild year of declining sales and earnings, hiring freezes and other headwinds, social selling is suddenly the growth standout, and maybe even the cure-all that the industry desperately needs,” we wrote last month.