Spark, Amazon’s social flop

Social commerce
Michele Caprini
22 Jun 2019

Spark no longer exists. The IP address now redirects users to #founditonamazon on which women clothing and accessories are displayed.

One more try

Launched in Jugly 2017, Spark was the social commerce platform dedicated to Amazon Prime users. The project idea was to create a platform where users would be proposed items bought and reviewed by other clients depending on their current purchase option.

It had all the standard communication methods of a social media platform and targeted the Fashion world with the aim of allowing customers to directly click on a picture and purchase it through Amazon. Relatively simple characteristics, yet Spark always had traction problems.

In the same scope, lies Instagram Checkout which had vast success. The in-app shopping function allows users to purchase directly within the app and, according to analysists, should drive the company’s revenues up to $10b USD by 2021.

#FoundItOnAmazon is the new experiment from the company; “We changed the name as such to mirror the tag which influencers are using on social media to share their best discoveries with other people”.

How important is social commerce?

Social commerce trends have been clear since its beginning; eMarketer remarked that social commerce in the US was worth $2.8b USD in 2018 and estimated to rise to $4.9b in 2021.

Nielsen’s report based on China, predicts even larger numbers. Tommy Hong, VP of e-commerce in Nielsen China, stated: “In the last five years, social commerce grew by 100.6% and its penetration index went from 2% in 2013 to 11.9% in 2019 and will continue to grow exponentially”.

Sales driven by community oriented social networks are more common, as seen in the case of Pinduoduo. Founded in 2015, it bases itself on WeChat with the motto “more buyers, lower prices”. It had such vast success that in three years the platform was worth $15b USD.

According to Nielsen again, social networks play a significant role for Chinese consumers and last year drove 54% of e-commerce sales. 80% of impulsive purchases come from social commerce, derived from friends and chat groups on WeChat.