Let’s say you want to buy something and you know what you’re looking for. In a situation like this, it’s hard to think of a better destination than Amazon. The online retailer has gotten so good at delivering spot-on search results that nearly half of online shoppers skip Google and head straight into Jeff Bezos’s warm embrace.
Now, what if you’re itching to buy something like patio furniture or a T-shirt, but you need some inspiration? It’s a situation that consumers find themselves in all the time. Sure, they could walk through the mall or a brick-and-mortar store to see what products they can discover — but re-creating that experience online isn’t easy.
Enter Amazon’s Interesting Finds section. It’s essentially an online lookbook of cool products. It includes categories such as Fun, Workspace, Little Kids, Mid-Century and Gadgets. Within each section, you’ll find novel items that are practical, fashionable and even a little wacky.
Interesting Finds may seem like a benign blip in the Amazon universe, but look closer and you’ll see why it’s a brilliant tool.
Here are just a few benefits of Interesting Finds:
Increased visitor time-on-site. You, the frugal buyer, want to pop into Amazon, find what you need and bounce. But Interesting Finds entices you to stay and browse. Amazon knows that the longer you interact with its ecosystem, the more likely you are to buy something.
Data galore. MoneyWatch’s Chris Dannen pointed out years ago how easy it is for Facebook to collect user data: Throwing out a “Like” is, as Dannen puts it, “frictionless” meaning it doesn’t require any extra clicks to get the job done. Interesting Finds is an eye-candy store where users “Heart” things they like (but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll actually purchase those products.) When they “heart” a product, Amazon’s algorithms start whirring, and in a blink of an eye they’ll produce whip-smart product recommendations from which few wallets are safe.
Visual product recommendations. Sure, Amazon product pages are equipped with recommendations based on what other consumers purchased. But the recommendations in the Interesting Finds section are much more visual and only show the number of “hearts” each product received.
Word of mouth. Interesting Finds carries countless unique items, from “Go Away” doormats to sleep trackers to wooden Brontosaurus figures. What do we do when we see these products? We share them with our friends. Almost half of Facebook users use the platform to look for new products, and novelty gets plenty of attention on social media.
So, why do these benefits matter? They position Amazon as a discovery tool. Many consumers don’t know what they want to buy — and Amazon is providing an outlet to get their wheels turning and gather some serious inspiration.
Amazon sells more than 300 million products. Obviously, it’s very difficult to stumble upon many of them with basic searches. You might be the ideal customer for a spoon hand-stamped with the words “Cereal Killer” … but would you ever think to search for it? Probably not.
In the same vein, as a physical store may sell countless products that customers discover in-store, your website’s search function is essential, but it can only present products that users actually search for.
There’s an opening for you here; you can help your customers find other products they’ll need and love. Amazon nets big paydays by suggesting related items, and you can significantly increase your bottom line by displaying your store’s hidden gems. For example, take a page out of Amazon’s playbook and give curation a shot — you’ll be tapping into the same concept that makes Pinterest so popular. Furthermore, you’ll glean the benefits we discussed earlier, such as more social shares and increased user activity.
Ultimately, customers want you to help them find new products. As product catalogs have gotten so much deeper, search alone can’t fully explore them. Discovery is integral to e-commerce, and it’ll only grow in importance as the industry evolves.
At Curalate, we help brands move customers from product discovery to purchases. Request a demo today.