If at first, you don’t succeed…
Amazon has just launched Amazon Live, a streaming video channel that showcases products like household items, tech, and beauty products.
This is Amazon’s second attempt at a QVC-style shopping channel. In 2017, the e-commerce giant launched Style Code Live, a beauty and fashion feed starring Ariana Grande’s brother.
The streaming channel didn’t last long, but Amazon is back at it with a new approach to live shopping.
Here’s a little more about the platform:
How Amazon Live works:
Amazon Live’s video player lives in an obvious location: just head to amazon.com/live and if there’s a live stream in progress, you can go ahead and start watching.
You’ll see a live feed where a brand will sort of unpack their Amazon offerings, then walk you through how the products work. Supposedly, consumers will have an opportunity to ask questions during the stream, but that doesn’t seem to be available at the moment.
Below the video, you’ll see an Amazon carousel with a rotating selection of products you can easily add to your cart. The first time we checked out the app, a company called Jacebox was taking us through a collection of lunchboxes and reusable containers–which you could easily add to your cart without leaving the stream.
Scroll down a bit further and you can also watch recordings of previous live streams.
Amazon says Live Shopping is for interaction
As we mentioned, Amazon is promoting the tool as this hub of interaction, kind of like those Pearl Parties — where hosts break open oysters and reveal colorful pearls on Facebook Live.
However, at the time of writing, the interaction component didn’t seem to exist.
We caught a glimpse of a couple of infomercial actors promoting the August Smart Lock and “the only remote you’ll ever need.” But, there was no place to input questions into the live stream.
As Mashable points out, most content appears to be a series of quick cuts — some of which flash to some very sad expressions from the hosts.
And, if you look at some of the segments, many are clearly pre-recorded and others are essentially bad slideshows. If you’ve seen those scammy male enhancement or wrinkle cream ads on Facebook, certain streams will look familiar.
What kinds of brands will you find on Live?
It’s a mixed bag.
The Amazon Live platform is open to any U.S. sellers registered through Amazon Brand Registry. The sellers can create their content through the mobile app and upload to the platform, or air a Live feed.
There are some legitimate products offered. But a lot comes from these “Mommy” channels, which are likely Amazon Associate members promoting affiliate links.
There’s something called the Meatball Master, where you can stick ground beef into a honeycomb-shaped mold. Primal Life Organics will treat you to a video that shows you how to use deodorant — very educational.
Anyway, the site just launched a couple of weeks ago, so it remains to be seen whether this will be a new platform to be reckoned with. But, it’s already got IGTV to compete with, YouTube, and QVC has announced their own stoppable live streaming app — coming soon.
It’s interesting that Amazon thinks that a modernized QVC experience is something people want. But, hey, maybe we’re not quite the right demographic.
We could see this becoming a useful tool for brands, but they’ll need to step up the quality if they want to drive traffic.
If nothing else, Amazon Live Shopping could be the internet’s next guilty pleasure — akin to reading general questions on Quora or the bad advice on Yahoo Answers.