How Amazon’s New Human Curation In “Interesting Finds” Compares to Zalando’s Fleek

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With the recent redesign of “Interesting Finds”, Amazon is taking a cue from Pinterest and, maybe, from Zalando’s Fleek. “Interesting Finds” started as “Amazon Stream”, a visual feed. It was renamed to “Intersting Finds” early this year and gained a heart as the save function. Now “Interesting Finds” got curated categories.

TechCrunch:

Tucked away inside the “More from Amazon” section of its mobile app as well as on the web, the Interesting Finds section offers shoppers a curated feed of products across a number of categories, like items for the home, for men, women, children, or pets, as well as popular sections dedicated to specific products like watches, audio or photo equipment, sneakers, tees, sunglasses, lighting, and more. […]

The discovery feature online and in the native mobile app now organizes products into an expanded array of categories beyond the initial handful, and it utilizes human curators, too. Several of these new categories go beyond simply rounding up top products in a single genre, like “Watches,” and instead focus on a theme.

For example, the “Daily Carry” section includes toteable items like keychains, wallets, backpacks, water bottles, hats, iPhone cases and more. “Mid Century” rounds up furniture, décor, lighting and even books dedicated to this time frame.

Both “Little Kids” and “Big Kids” get their own sections that include toys, games, sports equipment, plus educational items like flashcards and books.

As you browse through the sections, you can heart the items you like which are then saved to your “My Hearts” collection.

Though the product category is different, this can be compared to the other big curation experiment in today’s e-commerce: Zalando’s mobile marketplace app Fleek.

In “Fleek 2.0 and The Potential and Challenges of Social Shopping” I wrote:

Collections are the blogger/influencer/stylists curated collections. (introduced in 1.2, made followable in 1.6) The new one here are Styles. Styles are similar to Collections: They are collections of one outfit at a time. The creators of those Styles can as well be followed.

Collections on Fleek

For Collections and Styles, which are both, yes, collections of products, Zalando is working together with freelance stylists, fashion bloggers and influencers. In May of this year, Zalando bought Amaze, a ‘Tinder for Fashion’ app, and in August integrated Amaze into Fleek. Amaze became the styles tab in Fleek. Amaze used to bring fashion bloggers in to curate content and, in the process, help the app gain momentum with fashionistas. Fleek is now addressing fashion bloggers to work as curators as well.

Compare this to Amazon deploying existing employees as curators:

Shoppers can also favorite these collections, known as “boutiques,” many of which have been created in-house by Amazon employees (as a simple googling of the curators’ names will tell you.)

It is going to be interesting to see where Amazon will go with this.

A successful different shopping mode at Amazon would be something genuinely new (and exciting!) in Bezos land. Given how well hidden this feature is on mobile we don’t have our hopes up:

Despite Interesting Finds’ high profile – a banner at the top of Amazon.com’s homepage – the feature is still flying a bit under the radar.

And on mobile, it’s also a bit tucked away: you have to tap the navigation menu, then the “More from Amazon” link, then “Interesting Finds.”

Where a feature is positioned within an interface usually tells you everything you need to know about the importance it gets asigned internally. The constraints of mobile make this even more easily visible. (That is why Facebook Marketplace taking over the (very prominently placed) Messenger spot in the main Facebook app is very interesting.)

Either “Interesting Finds” gets its own dedidacted mobile app (again, look at Zalando and Fleek) or the feature will slowly die off again. No feature can survive the “more from” death slot for a long period of time. And we’re not even talking about growth there.

It also appears that “Interesting Finds” seems to be US only for now.

Benedict Evans, an analyst at VC firm a16z, likes to say that Amazon is the Google of e-commerce but that there has yet to emerge a Facebook of e-commerce. What he means by that is that Amazon is good at intentional search behavior -you know what you are looking for- but not so much at discovery, at evoking serendipity.

That is unfortunately still true for most of today’s e-commerce. Though retailers like Germany based Outfittery, Vente Privee or Zalando Zalon and the aforementioned Fleek try different approaches. (Note that all those examples sell fashion.)

“Interesting Finds” could be the beginning of a sea change. But only if Amazon puts ressources behind it.

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8 comments

  1. […] Forerunner Ventures is an outlier in many regards: Not only is the VC firm specialising in e-commerce (quick, name three other VC firms doing that) but is also being run by a woman. (quick name three other VC firms run by a woman) This gives Forerunner an advantage in an industry still dominated by men building products for how men go shopping. (Amazon is struggling with this as well.) […]

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  2. […] How Amazon’s New Human Curation In “Interesting Finds” Compares to Zalando’s Fleek […]

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  3. […] How Amazon’s New Human Curation In “Interesting Finds” Compares to Zalando’s Fleek […]

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  4. Brian Wright · ·

    How can I stop this intrusive advertising from “Amazon Interesting finds”, loading at boot up of my PC.It loads the page instead of my desktop

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  5. […] How Amazon’s New Human Curation In “Interesting Finds” Compares to Zalando’s Fleek […]

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  6. […] How Amazon’s New Human Curation In “Interesting Finds” Compares to Zalando’s Fleek […]

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  7. […] Amazon, meanwhile, tries to build its own Pinterest style curated shopping front end with “Interesting Finds&#822…. […]

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  8. […] How Amazon’s New Human Curation In “Interesting Finds” Compares to Zalando’s Fleek […]

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