The news: Amazon is taking a cue from TikTok for its latest in-app shopping update: a customized, shoppable content feed, per The Wall Street Journal.
The rationale: As sales growth slows from its pandemic heights, Amazon is betting that Inspire will encourage shoppers to spend more time (and money) on its channels, much as Douyin has been able to do in China.
However, there is a crucial difference. Douyin and TikTok were entertainment platforms first that then turned strong levels of user engagement into a sales vehicle. Amazon, on the other hand, is a shopping platform first—meaning that people visit its site because they have a specific purchase in mind, not because they’re in the mood to scroll through a never-ending series of product videos.
The big takeaway: In order to become a true challenger to Meta or TikTok, Amazon would have to convince consumers to change their behavior and use the retailer as they would Pinterest or Instagram, as a more socially-oriented avenue for product and trend discovery.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.