Amazon rang in the new year by launching a shiny new content marketing tool for sellers—Amazon Posts. Now in beta, Posts is an Instagram-like feed of images that shoppers can interact with to learn more about brands and the products they’re offering. Consumers can even purchase products directly through this feature. (If any of this sounds familiar, it’s likely because Amazon previously tried a similar feature called “Amazon Scout.”)
WHAT WE LIKE
More In-Amazon Brand Building
Many sellers have faulted Amazon for not enabling brands to build a community of fans within the platform. Posts feels like Amazon is taking that critique to heart and attempting to make it easier for brands to deepen relationships with shoppers.
A Potential One-Stop Promo Tool
If it clicks with shoppers, Amazon Posts could allow some brands to move away from using multiple social media channels for product discovery in favor of greater focus on the Amazon platform which is further down the purchase funnel. That shift would save brands time and money invested in social. However, we’re skeptical that consumers would completely abandon their preferred social media platforms.
A Single Place to Shop AND Share
Just as Facebook has tried to capture more consumer screen time with Marketplace, Posts is a new way for Amazon to make their platform stickier. The longer shoppers stick around, the more opportunity you have to introduce them to your brand and convert sales.
It’s Easy to Participate
There are only two basic requirements for sellers to use Amazon Posts. Your brand must be on Amazon’s Brand Registry, a smart move for any serious brand seller. And you need an Amazon Brand Store. In short, Amazon only wants brands who are clearly serious about selling and branding on their platform to engage with Posts.
Amazon’s Commitment to Innovation
No one can credibly claim Amazon isn’t committed to innovating. Sure, not everything they’ve tried has panned out, but you can’t have huge wins like Kindle, Echo and the Amazon Fire TV Stick without a few missteps. Amazon Posts may or may not be the next be thing, but it’s at least worth exploring in the short term.
WHERE WE’RE SKEPTICAL
Social Media is a Tough Space
We’ve all fallen into the black hole of social media, moving from one post to another until an hour (or three) has passed. That level of stickiness is great for brands advertising on those platforms, but what if Amazon Posts doesn’t have the same allure? For every Instagram and Snapchat there are dozens of Vines and Friendsters.
If it’s not great, Posts could easily go the way of Google+ (Google’s failed attempt to basically out-Facebook Facebook). Since Instagram now allows users to create shoppable posts, Amazon needs to create a compelling reason to convince shoppers to use Posts. That’s not an easy ask.
Shopper Access May Not Improve
Third-party (3P) sellers have always struggled with the lack of access Amazon grants to customer emails. Amazon does provide some customer data to 3P sellers (like name and address), which helps with consumer insights, but forbids you from re-marketing to them. If this holds true (as we suspect it will) it calls into question how much Posts can help with shopper relationship-building.
The team at Amify will continue to keep a close eye on Amazon Posts, and we’re already gathering useful intelligence as we work with our clients to implement test-and-learns. In the meantime, contact us today to talk about how we can help you enhance your Amazon presence—with or without Posts.