Amazon India on Thursday launched "Spark", a new feature that is aimed to bring a community-driven experience to online shopping in the country. The new feature seems to be highly inspired by Instagram and uses customers' browsing and shopping behaviour to provide them with a personalised feed. It not only allows you to post your stories, polls, questions, or ideas alongside images and hashtags - just as a social network - but also lets other Amazon customers react to your posts with comments and "smiles". This is similar to how you usually like or favourite social media posts. Importantly, Amazon brought the Spark feature in the US last year.
With Spark, Amazon India believes that customers will be able to find content from influencers, brands, and publishers as well as community content from select, qualifying customers. The feature also offers community rewards majorly in the form of comments and smiles and badges. Additionally, the company trends from your browsing and shopping behaviour to personalise your feed.
The ultimate goal with the Spark feature is to enhance product discovery by offering a community experience. While the way the feature gathers different posts under one roof looks similar to Pinterest, the ability to tag different items to your images, hashtags, and the comments system makes it similar to Instagram. However, unlike a social network including Pinterest or Instagram, Amazon Spark revolves content around the products available through the online marketplace.
There two tabs on the Amazon Spark page, namely Feed and Explore. The Feed tab brings the content based on your interests. In contrast, the Explore tab allows you to view the content based on different categories such as Tech & Gadgets, Women's Style, Food & Drink, and DIY, Arts, & Crafts.
Amazon also lets you create your post for the Spark feature with an image, poll, link, or a question. Once created, you can tag up to five interests. These interests are in line with the categories available on the Amazon.in site. This means you'll get interests such as Cameras, Computers, Electronics, or Mobile & Tablets.
A bag icon is displayed with the Spark post if there is an image that shows a product which is available on Amazon.in. You just need to click on that bag icon to directly to the listing of that product. Also, there is a view count that is available just below the images shared to let you see how many times the images are being viewed.
To get started with Amazon Spark, you just need to select the Spark option from the left menu of the Amazon app on your smartphone. Alternatively, you can visit the Spark page directly on the Web.
"With Spark's interest-based social community and content model, we are aiming to make product discoverability easy and convenient as well as fun," says Kishore Thota, Amazon.in's Director of Customer Engagement, in a press statement. "We are thus using this community content and experience to enhance product discovery by tagging products to content and making them seamlessly 'shop-able'."
India isn't the first market for Amazon Spark. The company, in fact, launched the feature in the US back in July last year, as reported by TechCrunch. It was initially developed for mobile devices, though it's currently accessible through desktops as well.