Amazon adds social shopping features, including a way to ask friends for product feedback

Amazon is today launching a social shopping feature that will allow consumers to ask trusted friends for advice while they shop online through the Amazon app. The feature, dubbed “Consult-a-Friend,” lets shoppers send a message to people whose advice they want to receive. This message includes a link to the new experience where friends can react to the product shown using emojis and optionally add commentary.

The idea, Amazon explains, is to help customers make purchase decisions. And friends and family’s recommendations are often high among the most trusted sources. Plus, Amazon’s own internal data indicated sharing products with friends for feedback was something customers were already doing by way of using the app’s existing “Share” button on iOS and Android. This year, for example, Amazon says shoppers pressed that button “billions of times’ to share products through messaging services, social media apps and email.

Similarly, the Consult-a-Friend feature will build on that existing sharing behavior, particularly in areas where Amazon’s early testing has shown customers are looking for more feedback — like when they’re shopping for apparel, shoes, electronics and furniture. The feature also arrives ahead of the busy holiday shopping season when a number of customers may be looking for gift ideas and want to know from other friends and family members if the item they’ve come across is something they should buy for a mutual friend or relation.

To use the feature, Amazon app users will have to toggle on the “Ask for your friends’ votes” button the first time they try the service. They can then select their preferred messaging app to use for sharing the link with their designated recipients.

Image Credits: Amazon

Friends who receive the message will see the link directing them to the Amazon Shopping app where they can view the product details and then react with a quick emoji, like heart eyes, sad face or thinking face, for example. They can also type in a reply if they choose.

In order for the recipient to respond to any requests for feedback, they must already be signed into their Amazon account in the Amazon Shopping app. In other words, Amazon isn’t trying to leverage the feature to collect personal info like emails from non-Amazon customers.

The sender will then be able to view the collective sentiments from all their friends and other recipients as well as their text commentary within the Amazon shopping app.

The feature will be available, starting tomorrow, in the Amazon app in the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, UAE and the U.K.

Alongside this launch, Amazon is also adding a new “Create” feature to its TikTok-like “Inspire” shopping feed in its app. Launched earlier this year, Inspire showcases content created by influencers and brands. “Create,” however, will allow more people to participate. After tapping on the new Create button in the upper right corner of Inspire’s Home tab, users will be able to take a quick photo or video of their favorite products, or upload media from their phone, then tag the product and share their experience.

After the content is reviewed and approved, it will be displayed publicly in Inspire’s feed. Users will be able to see all their posts and hearts received on their public profile page in the Posts tab.

Inspire is available across iOS and Android in the U.S.

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