Amazon has quietly launched a new feature called Collections that asks users to create themed boards with their favorite products. The end result is the usual, grid–style, graphics heavy page but with one big twist — these images lead the consumer right back to the Amazon shopping page where they can buy the item with one more click.
TechCrunch says Amazon has been testing the program for awhile, that they even had bloggers test driving Collections earlier this year. Now, it looks like they’re ready for the big push because even I have a My Collections link under the Account tab when I log in.
A first glance, this feature might make people nervous because it’s easily confused with Amazon’s Wish List. Fear not, items you put on your list won’t show up in public for all to see. But when you use the Collect button, that’s a different story. Within seconds, your action shows up on the Collections homepage. This is great news for retailers who want to promote their products because all you have to do is add your item to a Collection ( better yet, hire a stranger to add it to their collection) and now your item is front and center for as long as it takes to get pushed off the front page.
Right now, there’s a large number if third party items from small retailers on the home page. I doubt that it’s a coincidence. Part of what’s driving the action is the lack of Collection buttons site wide. Amazon is slowly ramping up and they seem to be concentrating on the clothing and accessory pages. If you dig deeper you’ll see that you can put a collection button on your tool bar which lets you collect any item on the site. I used the button to start a collection of my favorite DVD’s.
If I could associate that Collected link with my Amazon Affiliate account, I’d be pinning . . . Whoops. . . I mean collecting from now until the sun sets.
Amazon breaks down the collected items into a handful of categories including Women’s Fashion, Books, Music, Movies. There’s also a Featured tab but I don’t know what you have to do to land there. Finally, there’s a Following tab because that’s the name of the social media game. You can choose to follow other people who are already collecting and that looks like the only option at the moment.
Users start out with three collection themes; My Style, Possibilities (I like that word) and Want List. Again, don’t confuse this with your Wish List, they’re two different things. You can then create as many new boards as you like.
If this catches on, it will be a great tool for retail marketers as long as it doesn’t turn into a spam pit. So go easy on the self promotion for now and let’s see if this thing gets legs.
One last note. I posted a DVD about an hour ago and it was in the first block on the home page. Now it’s about 100 items deep on the page. Though there aren’t any duplicate products, there are a lot of very similar products which tells me a few marketers are already hard at work.
What do you think of Amazon Collections? A hit or a miss?