Amazon has proudly announced today that its revenue from mobile sales has passed $1 billion per year – most of which came from smartphones, particularly the iPhone. We take a look at how Amazon got here.
What’s the story?
For the first time, Amazon has explicitly stated what portion of its revenue was earned from mobile. With news like this, it’s nor surprising that it has broken silence. But what has Amazon done to attract that much money by mobile? The strategy is in two parts: applications, and easy payments.
Amazon has it’s own application for all the major smartphone platforms. Whether you’re packing an iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Nokia, you can access an application portal straight to Amazon.
But more than that, Amazon has built other mobile technologies into its applications. You can scan barcodes using the application, and Amazon will recognise and search for that product – so if you see something that catches your fancy during the day, you can capture it with your phone and buy it over Amazon.
Amazon realised early that if your mobile app isn’t as easy to use as your website, you won’t see a lot of use. So it took the 1-Click payment system from the main site and made sure it worked in the mobile application. That way, once you’ve set up your account, you can make an order over your mobile just as easily as you can on the Amazon website. In fact, 1-Click is such a successful system that Amazon has been selling it to other mobile retailers through Amazon Payments.
What we think?
This is a fantastic validation of mobile commerce and mobile sales. By creating a well-designed application that combines ease-of-use with trust, Amazon has racked up impressive sales by mobile. This proves that converting visits into sales isn’t impossible on mobile – what you really need is a fast, trustworthy payment method. If you ask people to pay for goods over mobile using a method they don’t recognise, or if you make the process unnecessarily lengthy by sending them out of your site, they’re far more likely to wait until they’re sitting a computer. But treat your visitors right, and they’re perfectly happy to make purchases from your mobile property: Amazon has just proven this.