Amazon has revealed a new approach to mobile commerce that could fuel more sales through independent mobile apps. While the initiative will broaden Amazon’s reach and potential sales opportunities, it also gives apps another form of monetization to consider.
The company’s new Mobile Associates API will allow developers to build Amazon product offerings into their apps. Users can browse Amazon products, make one-touch purchases and enjoy free Amazon Prime shipping through this new outlet. When purchases are made, app developers will receive a 6 percent commission, according to reporting in The Motley Fool.
Amazon already owns a massive profile when it comes to mobile commerce — the company currently generates some $5 billion in annual mobile commerce revenue — and its new mobile app venture will only strengthen that reputation.
For developers, meanwhile, the opportunity to further monetize app properties could be significant, perhaps even triggering a change in approaches to app development. As Amazon makes mobile commerce more lucrative for those developers, more apps could be created with in-app purchasing in mind.
Checking Enthusiasm in the Early Going
For all the buzz Amazon has created with its new mobile commerce venture, there are reasons to remain cautious. For one, mobile app shopping hasn’t proven itself to be in high demand among consumers — and if app users don’t make purchases, developers won’t make any money. That could cool some of the industry enthusiasm for the new system.
Meanwhile, app developers will have to accept a commission rate that’s well below what Amazon provides to some of its other partners — The Motley Fool notes that those commissions can be as high as 25 percent.
And while Amazon will ultimately guarantee the transaction, mobile apps are sure to get a bump in customer service-related queries related to in-app purchases — an inconvenience that will need to be accounted for by worthwhile commissions.
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