Amazon’s Consult-a-friend mobile commerce tool adds social component to shopping

Mobile commerce - Shopping Online via phone

The massive online marketplace is letting shoppers talk to people they know for purchasing advice.

Amazon has been working on making its mobile commerce experience more social and collaborative, and its latest feature, Consult-a-Friend, is letting shoppers ask people they know for buying advice.

The feature is meant to provide online shoppers with an experience more similar to in-person shopping.

Amazon is looking to streamline the mobile commerce experience when it comes to asking people for their opinions regarding what they want to buy. While it is possible to talk to people in real life while showing a product page on a screen, or to use messaging apps to discuss a product, the process remains clunky. The Consult-a-Friend feature is meant to smooth out that experience and make it easier to talk to someone and remember the opinion shared.

Mobile commerce - Two friends looking at mobile phone

Consult-a-Friend lets users request, see and manage feedback friends share regarding products sold within the Amazon Shopping app.

This experience will upgrade the company’s existing social feature, which consists mainly of a “Share” button that was reportedly used billions of times for sharing product links using social media services, messaging apps, and emails.

According to an report, consumers are especially interested in talking to people they know before they buy clothing, shoes, furniture, and electronics.

The new mobile commerce feature is launching just in time for the holiday shopping season.

With Consult-a-Friend as a shopping feature, it’s likely that consumers will be interested in helping to keep their holiday gift buying strategies organized, with responses and feedback stored in one place that they can easily consult when needed.

The feature first needs to be turned on in preferences in order to make it available, as “off” is its default position. Once the “Ask for your friends’ votes” button has been turned on, then preferred messaging app and designated friends can be chosen. After that point, the option is available in the “Share” button on a product page.

Friends receive a message asking them to access the Consult-a-Friend link in the Amazon mobile commerce app, where they can view the product’s information. From there, they can either choose an emoji reaction, add a comment, or both.

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