Last Thursday Amazon introduced a new feature on their site called Amazon Collections that appears at first glance to mirror popular social networking site, Pinterest. With a set up and vibe just like Pinterest, Amazon Collections allows users to categorize and share products that they like or want.
Amazon currently offers three types of categorizations for collections to its users by default: My Style, Want List, and Possibilities, with the opportunity for consumers consumers to create their own categories as well.
A similar attempt to mesh social with e-tail was made last year by Facebook in an attempt to monetize the site in a fresh way, but Facebook's service failed to gain traction and the feature was temporarily shut down. Amazon has an advantage over the service provided by Facebook because while Facebook had to go out and find retailers willing to sell their products from the service, Amazon already has one of the most impressive and extensive collections of products available for sale on the web.
So what separates Amazon's new service from Pinterest?
1) There are fewer items that can be "collected" on Amazon than can be "pinned" on Pinterest.
Pinterest lets users pin items found anywhere on the web; whereas Amazon only lets users pin items available for purchase from their website.
2) It's easier to buy items found in Amazon collections, than on Pinterest boards.
Amazon links all products collected directly to that products' sale page; whereas Pinterest's path to purchase isn't always as simple. While a product appearing on Pinterest occasionally links to a site that sells the product, it doesn't always. It can be difficult to find where one can buy a product they've found on Pinterest.
Despite similarities in format and feel, the purpose of Pinterest is not necessarily to make any sort of sale. Both sites function as places where user's can generate and save product wishlists, while connecting with and following users with shared interests.
A spokesperson from Amazon has reported that, "This new test feature is just one of many ways we are working to help our customers discover and share new things."
Do you think Amazon Collections will last? Would you use the service?
<Image: Screenshot of Amazon Collections>
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