How Amazon’s Answer to the Pinterest/Instagram/Wish Approach to Shopping Is Evolving

Amazon is experimenting with at least three1 big shopping worlds. The big deal world is going to return this summer on Prime Day. (as long as the Treasure Truck is still in very confined Public Beta mode.)

In the US, Amazon has been presenting “Interesting Finds” for a while now as the company’s answer to a more social and visual, Pinterest/Instagram/Wish-like approach to Shopping that is more about laid-back browsing than searching for the one thing one wants to buy right now.

“Interesting Finds”, formerly known as “Beautiful Things”, now gained a “My Mix” section for personalized recommendations based on the favorites the user marked in Interesting Finds.

TechCrunch:

“Interesting Finds,” which evolved out of an earlier product called “Amazon Stream,” is the latest in Amazon’s efforts to become a place where shoppers browse and get inspired, instead of a place where you search for products you know you already need or want. […]

It also is no longer tucked away under hidden menus, but prominently featured at the top of Amazon.com via a big banner ad.

You can favorite both the items and the shops, then return to them later under the “My Hearts” section. Or you can purchase items immediately by clicking through to the product detail page and checking out.

With “My Mix”, Amazon is leveraging the user behavior inside “Interesting Finds” to create a new and different set of recommendations:

More recently, Amazon added a feature called “My Mix,” which is informed by your favoriting activity. As you like more items across “Interesting Finds,” Amazon builds you a custom shop with other items it thinks you might like, too.

These suggestions are better than the Amazon.com homepage recommendations, which are directly tied to your past purchases and browsing history — those have become more of a stale reminder of things you just bought or still need to purchase. “My Mix” suggestions are more… well, fun. […]

“We don’t filter anything out by vendor or by price; it is all based on what customers have previously hearted,” a spokesperson explained. “The items in ‘My Mix’ are refreshed numerous times throughout the day, so customers should heart anything they want to save because they probably won’t be there when they come back.”

What a difference a data set makes.

We compared the approaches to human curation at Amazon’s “Interesting “Finds” and Zalando’s mobile and social fashion shopping app Fleek last year:

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[…]

We also noted the place in the user interface, which is now more prominent, and what this positioning tells us about the company’s plans with this:

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 dedicated 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.

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Still no dedicated mobile app. But with Prime Now being its own app, this could still happen in due time. Amazon management at least doesn’t seem to be as strongly against stand-alone mobile shopping apps as they are against Amazon shopping websites besides Amazon. (At this moment, “Interesting Finds” and its “My Mix” feature are living inside the Amazon website on the desktop and the Amazon main apps on iOS and Android. Still US only for now.)

Looking at this screenshot from TechCrunch, one can easily see this becoming a stand-alone app:

amazon-interesting-finds-mobile.png

You can find “Interesting Things” here on the web and here’s “My Mix” on the web.

More on this topic:


  1. Ok, ok, debatable. That’s why we weaseled out there with “at least”. Keep reading! 

4 comments

  1. […] How Amazon’s Answer to the Pinterest/Instagram/Wish Approach to Shopping Is Evolving […]

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  2. […] How Amazon’s Answer to the Pinterest/Instagram/Wish Approach to Shopping Is Evolving […]

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  3. […] Amazon app hosts, or, in some cases more aptly, ‘hides’, such different features as “Interesting Finds” and the Treasure Truck and many many […]

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  4. […] How Amazon’s Answer to the Pinterest/Instagram/Wish Approach to Shopping Is Evolving […]

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