Amazon takes on TikTok with personalised short video shopping feed

Inspire, a new short-form video and photo feed, lets consumers explore products and ideas and shop from content created by influencers, brands and other customers

Amazon has launched Inspire, a new shopping section on its app that emulates the short form video appeal of TikTok. 

Inspire will initially roll out to select customers in the US in early December, and will become broadly available to US customers in the months that follow.

The move marks a clear effort from Amazon to  lure consumers’ away from apps like TikTok, where brands can directly market to consumers, to drive sales on Amazon instead.

How it works

On the Amazon Shopping app, customers can tap Inspire’s icon where they are prompted to choose from over 20 interests, including things like makeup, skin care, pets, gaming, plants, hiking, interior design, travel and running.

While Inspire focuses on short-form video content, it also offers support for photos, and users can double-tap anywhere on the screen to “like” the content with a red heart. 

Initially, a tap on these buttons will pop up the product in an overlay window on top of the video, but a tap on “See all details” will take you to the item’s product page where you can read more, make a purchase or add it to a list.

Customisng recommendations over time

Oliver Messenger, Amazon Shopping director, said: “Inspire is our new shopping experience that connects Amazon customers with shoppable content created by other customers, the latest influencers, and a wide range of brands. In just a few taps, customers can discover new products or get inspiration on what to buy, all tailored to their interests, and then shop for those items on Amazon.”

Over time, the feed will better customise itself as Inspire learns more about the user’s interests by tracking their engagement and likes.

Longer-term, the e-commerce giant plans to add more shoppable features to Inspire, as well as additional in-app functionality and content.

The company has already lined up Amazon Influencers to post on Inspire, including Mae Badiyan, Practically Pursia and others. The creators will be able to earn money from customers’ purchases via the Amazon Influencer Program.

In addition, brands can post to Inspire, including vendors and sellers enrolled in Brand Registry with an active Brand Store, says Amazon.

Amazon Inspire is currently only available in the Amazon mobile app on iOS and Android, initially to select customers.