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Amazon gambles with top-to-bottom rewrite for Windowshop iPad app

November 4, 2010

amazon-1Amazon is letting consumers browse for new products without relying on search with its new application that is designed specifically for Apple’s lean-back, touch-screen tablet.

The Windowshop application lets consumers browse across many best-selling product categories. The free application also lets consumers take advantage of Amazon Prime membership by looking at what products qualify for the program.

“Our customers have asked for shopping experiences in mobile and we plan to continue to provide features designed for the platforms and devices our customers are using,” said Stacey Keller, spokeswoman at Amazon, Seattle, WA.

Missed the mark
Although Amazon is expanding its mobile offerings with another iPad application made specifically for the tablet, the application requires a lot of scrolling for consumers to find a product they are looking for.

To browse products, consumers have to scroll up, down, left, right and diagonally.

The application does not let consumers look for products using the iPad’s portrait mode – consumers can only browse horizontally.

Customers cannot sort by price, filter for price shipping or sort the search results by price or highest rated.
In addition, unlike its Web site, consumers cannot view lightning deals.

On the bright side
What the application lacks in some functionality, it makes up for in mobile shopping.

Although consumers have to scroll to find products, the application lets them discover more goods within a category, such as Featured, Bestsellers, Recommendations, New Releases, Most Wished For and Movers and Shakers.

Consumers can also go deeper in the application by selecting the browse button and picking a list type. Then, customers can browse the categories and subcategories to find the products they are looking for.

The application features various product categories such as books, textbooks, computers, grocery, clothing, jewelry and kitchen and dining.

Consumers can learn more about products by selecting them from the grid of product images. Customers can see a detailed product screen, including pictures and videos.

Additionally, consumers can complete a purchase by using Amazon’s 1-Click Checkout.

Similar to its Web site and other applications, the Windowshop application uses the same Amazon account, cart, wish list and authentication.

Mobile endeavors
Amazon is no stranger to mobile.

The company has several applications for various smartphone platforms.

Last month, Amazon released its Kindle for Windows Phone 7, which the company claimed is the first major ebook application available for the Microsoft-owned smartphone platform.

In addition to its new Windowshop application, Amazon has an Amazon Mobile iPad application that focuses more on the search tool.

The application lets consumers search, shop, compare prices and read reviews.

“Subsequent editions [of the Windowshop app] may support other platforms and devices, but we have nothing further to announce at this time,” Ms. Keller said.

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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