Saturday, July 22, 2017

Window shopping in the Amazon Age

This article touches on the latest addition to amazon’s list of offerings to keep users within its ecosystem – Amazon Spark. This social network feed provides its core users (If you have an Amazon Prime account, you qualify for that tag) with a platform to share stories, pictures and ideas on their purchases in a manner akin to an Instagram feed.
The idea here is that users with access to Amazon Spark can now “discover” purchase ideas, much in the same way a person discovers certain products of interest while browsing through the stores in a mall. The advantage of Amazon Spark is that, along with these product ideas are associated reviews from shoppers who have bought and used the product. In other words, a virtual window-shopping experience with user reviews attached to each product encountered in the process.

The big question here is whether this new service will not be a turn-off to users who feel like they are being barraged with recommendations and purchase ideas they do not want and cannot trust because there is no human connection to a purchase recommendation from a friend. Instead, these purchase ideas would seem to come from an algorithm that does not offer the same level of personalized interest to the targeted potential customers that something like an Instagram recommendation or Facebook “like” of a product by a friend would generate.
In fairness, this new feed from Amazon is probably a decent first step to creating some order (or a better guide) for navigating the chaos that is the amazon browsing experience. Quite frankly, the only thing worse than an attempt to browse is probably an attempt to browse For that, I wish you loads of patience and plenty of luck. Consider finding that needle in the haystack. You have a better shot at it!

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