Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – all have experimented with selling products on their social networking platforms. While some like Facebook have shown signs of success with social commerce, others have failed. Then comes Spark, a new social networking site launched by Amazon that promises to change social commerce forever.
Think of Spark as a combination of Pinterest and Instagram. Indeed, this might be the first thing you notice when you log onto Spark. It has a look very similar to Instagram. In some circles people have called it a product discovery social network. And yes, it does look like a product discovery social media site. In fact, Spark is like a shopping newsfeed.
Practically, every image you see on your news feed is a product that can be bought at Amazon.com. Instead of wondering what you should buy someone for their anniversary, now Spark has become the place to go for inspiration. Perhaps after browsing a few images it might spark some ideas and subsequent purchase.
Succeeding where others have failed
Spark’s seamless shopping experience is perhaps the reason why many think that this social networking platform could succeed in social commerce in ways that no other social networking site has. Amazon has made sure that there are no complicated steps when a user wants to move from the social media side of Spark to the e-commerce side. Buying something you just saw on Spark is as easy as hitting the “buy” button. Whatever it is will be delivered to you at the comfort of your home.
As Amazon slowly rolls out Spark, the initial focus of the social networking platform is jewelry, beauty, apparel, and fashion. Imagine seeing a beautiful model with a great swimming suit and thinking to yourself: “I should get that!” Now via the amazon app, it is possible to turn that thought into reality. All you have to do is click on that item and ask that it be delivered to you. And because every item made clickable on Spark is linked to Amazon.com, you will never need to exit the Amazon app.
A social networking site for people who love to follow brands
In promoting this new service, Amazon is asking people to take a discovery journey and come across things they are likely to love from people with whom they share certain interests. Everyone who has an Amazon account as well as the Amazon app can start using and experiencing Spark. All the same, at the moment Amazon has limited people’s ability to post content on Spark to only Amazon Prime members.
This is one of the challenges that Amazon will have to overcome: convincing people to join a social networking site just to see what others are posting and in the process making Amazon millions of dollars. But perhaps an affiliate marketing program could change this. We will have to wait and see.
Taking on Facebook
Just how practical is it to expect Amazon to really take on Facebook? And is it even possible? Perhaps it’s too early to tell, but every happening in this space is interesting to watch. Amazon is taking very interesting paths, but Facebook is in no way asleep. Watching these two giants go at it makes for very interesting times in the social networking space.