Amazon.com Inc. is changing up the ways consumers can browse and shop its U.S. site, adding more visual merchandising and product recommendation tools.
The e-retailer has added a browsing option called Scout to Amazon.com that lets consumers see photos of an array of products and click a thumbs up or thumbs down icon to indicate interest. If a consumer clicks the thumbs up button, the product page immediately reloads with products with similar attributes. Scout is “a visual way to shop without words,” Amazon says in a video describing how the search tool works.
For now, Scout search refinements are limited to products in a handful of categories: furniture, home décor, lighting, kitchen and dining, patio, bedding and women’s shoes. Consumers visiting the corresponding landing pages for the categories—for instance, visiting Amazon Home for home goods—can access Scout from the top navigation bar, where it is labeled Scout/Style Explorer. A “your journey” bar at the bottom of the screen shows the products the shopper has clicked in her browsing path that are informing the products displayed.
Home goods and apparel are categories Amazon is focused on growing. Amazon has launched nearly 70 private label apparel brands and dipped into private label home goods last year with the brands Rivet and Stone & Beam.
Other categories will be added to Scout soon, including handbags, women’s apparel and toys.
Visual search, as opposed to text-based search, is gaining traction among retailers and advertising platforms as more consumers shop with their mobile devices. Last month, teen apparel retailer Forever 21 added visual search and navigation tools to its website. Meanwhile, image-driven social media platform Instagram is expanding advertising options, as is Google, which last week announced the addition of two image-based ad formats.
Amazon has also integrated Spark, which since early 2017 lived on the Amazon Shopping mobile app, onto Amazon.com. Spark is a Pinterest-like social sharing program in which Amazon Prime members can create and share collections of products for public view. On the desktop site, Spark has been integrated into the visual-browsing tool dubbed Interesting Finds, which is labeled as “See something new, every day” and appears above the traditional text search box on the homepage. The Interesting Finds visual-browsing tool has been available on Amazon.com for more than a year and, similar to Scout, encourages browsers to click a heart icon on products they like. On future visits, the products the consumer sees in the “something new” section are refined to the indicated interests.
Now, with the integration of Spark, consumers can further personalize what they see on the page by clicking which product categories they are most interested in.
Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000.
For more on how top e-retailers are personalizing online shopping, check out the 2018 E-Commerce Personalization Report, Internet Retailer’s first detailed look into the personalization techniques online retailers are applying to their websites, mobile sites and email marketing to motivate sales.