Amazon is testing out a new shopping assistant feature that lets your friends and family weigh in on your next purchase. Consult-a-Friend assists customers as they shop online by offering suggestions from your inner circle.
Consult-a-Friend is being tested on select customers – both Prime members and non-members – in 19 countries. The feature lets users request advice from friends and manage feedback to narrow the best selection for them.
Amazon’s early tests showed customers were interested in getting feedback from people they know when buying clothes, shoes, electronics, furniture, and help with holiday shopping. The company’s internal data shows customers frequently share items with others before finalizing a purchase, be it through text messages or sent via social media. Consult-a-Friend organizes selections and feedback within the Amazon app.
The feature also makes it easier to shop for others by letting users see their connection’s wish lists and collaborate on a group gift.
To use Consult-a-Friend, open the Amazon app and select a product you’d like a second opinion on, then tap the “Share” button. Toggle on the “Ask for your friends’ votes” option, select your preferred messaging app, and add recipients. Your friends will receive a message with a link to the item. From there, they can view and give their two cents via comments or send a quick emoji reply. Only customers in the test group have access to Consult-a-Friend for now.
This feature builds off of Inspire, a shopping feature similar to Pinterest in terms of building a vision board of products and forming a community of commentators. Inspire lets users take a photo or video of products in the Amazon app, then tag and share product reviews to “inspire and educate” others shopping for similar items. Inspire is available on the Amazon app for iOS and Android devices.
Consult-a-Friend is in the early stages of testing in the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, and the U.K.