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May 13, 2011

amberta

Angry-birds-rio-icon If you’ve seen or heard of the movie Rio, you may have seen that Blu isn’t in his cage anymore – no mirror, no little bell.  He’s ready to hit the beach.  And with Blu gaining his freedom, Rovio has released an updated Android version of Angry Birds Rio exclusively in the Amazon Appstore for Android with 30 new levels and, you guessed it, Blu is a playable character filled with feathered fury. 

Angry-birds-rio-blu

What does this mean for you?
The more customers we engage, the more opportunities we have to monetize your apps.  When we launched, we had the Android version of Angry Birds Rio exclusively in the Amazon Appstore.  As part of our launch marketing we advertised the Amazon Appstore and leveraged an Android exclusive of Angry Birds Rio as a hook across Amazon.com online, in mobile advertising, in social outlets, and more.  The results have been tremendous.
 
There will also be another marketing campaign surrounding the update of Angry Birds Rio exclusive on the Amazon Appstore.  Angry Birds Rio has a large and loyal fanbase, many of whom will come to the Amazon Appstore get the update and ultimately purchase other apps. 

When to consider updates:
There are many things to take into consideration when updating your app.  Here are some high level things to consider:

  • Does the customer want the update?  Customer forums can really help you here – check out what customers are saying and if there are themes (e.g. technical problems or content requests / suggestions) you should consider them.
  • Will the update improve the usability of the app?  This goes to the technical point above.
  • Is the update timely?  Angry Birds Seasons did a great job here.  Outside of holidays, other things to consider in timing are seasons – an update to a music app with built in holiday tunes could be cool in December, for example.

April 21, 2011

amberta

Appnation Next week we’ll be at the APPNATION conference in San Francisco on April 27 and 28 at Moscone Center South.  The conference is intended primarily for developers and entrepreneurs like you to learn and share best practices about getting exposure for and monetizing apps. 

Our very own Jon Fleming, head of business development, will be on a panel moderated by Noah Kravitz, editor-at-large for TechnoBuffalo, called “So Many App Stores, So Little Time” along with Jud Bowman, Appia CEO, and Trevor Cornwell, appbackr CEO. 

We’ve negotiated a discount of 50% off the full-conference, all-access pass to APPNATION 2011.  You can redeem this discount online with the priority code: “APDI50.”  The code is good until Tuesday, April 26th at 11:59pm.

We hope to see you there!

April 14, 2011

amberta

In a previous post, we talked about automated marketing for apps in the Amazon Appstore for Android. On top of automated marketing, Amazon is constantly striving to achieve an excellent customer experience through timely merchandising of relevant products across Amazon.com. 

Occasionally, we can market apps from our store in other Amazon storefronts when the content is compelling and the right fit. This placement is a win-win for customers and developers. It brings relevant information to customers and can increase impressions and hopefully downloads of an app for developers. Here is an example of a “right roto,” or an ad that appears on the right of a page, for the TurboTax SnapTax app in Amazon’s tax storefront

  Snaptax-roto

On top of showcasing the TurboTax SnapTax app, we incorporated a “shoveler,” or a grouping of apps, onto the page where we’re displaying other tax-related apps that we think customers may find useful.  Here is a look at the entire page:

   Tax-page

So what makes an app the right fit for placement in other Amazon stores?   Bottom line, the app content must be relevant to and/or complement other content on a page in another Amazon store.  

March 31, 2011

amberta

If you have ever shopped at Amazon.com, you’ve likely seen “Customer Discussions” associated with features such as the Gold Box Deal of the Day, as well as individual items. Customer Discussions connects customers with each other to ask questions and share insights and opinions on Amazon.com about different products and services. 


As an app developer, you can benefit from the great opportunity Customer Discussions offers for interacting with customers who are interested in your app. You can answer customer questions, provide support, and collect feedback for futures releases.


While product detail pages give an overview of the app itself, and star ratings and reviews give high-level insight into what customers think, Customer Discussions is a place where customers can interact and talk about both the app and topics related to the app.


Here is an example of the Customer Discussions happening on the Shazam Encore app:

Customer Discussions
You’ll see the various discussions focus on music in this case, as the app is music-centric, and aren’t as much about the app itself. Even though the discussions are about the music and not about the app itself, they can provide valuable information about your customers’ taste, which you can use in marketing your app. Customers may also talk directly about the app in the Customer Discussions threads – here’s where you have the opportunity to glean information for potential app updates.

Wondering how to get started?  To post on Amazon forums, all you need to do is sign in to your Amazon account (the account must have at least one purchase on it) and start posting. We expect all of our customers to follow Amazon.com’s Conditions of Use and adhere to the discussion guidelines at all time. If you haven’t created a pen name already, we suggest you use a name that clearly indicates you are the creator of the app. To build customer trust, it is important that they be able to differentiate you from other customers. Finally, please keep in mind that Customer Discussions is not a place to start verbal wars. We want our developers to be a friendly, helpful resource for our customers. You can learn more about Customer Discussions online here.
 

March 23, 2011

amberta

We are excited to announce the US launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android. If you’ve already submitted your app(s) – thank you! We couldn’t have launched this store without your support. From Games to Utilities, we have apps to suit our customers’ many Android app wants and needs. 


Appstore-homepage
 
Over the past few months we have been sharing quite a bit of information about what you as a developer can utilize in the Developer Portal and in the Amazon Appstore itself. As you can see, we built the store to make it easy to find, discover and buy Android apps. We believe a more compelling customer experience will in turn result in better monetization.


Amazon Appstore highlights:

In true Amazon fashion, we’re making discoverability easier, which gets your apps in front of more customers. Specifically, we are offering a few unique features such as recommendations based on customers’ browse and purchase history. This is one of the automated marketing features we discussed previously.  Automated marketing includes placements in search results, browse based results, bestsellers, and more. We will also be doing ongoing promotional activity designed to attract new and repeat customers to the Amazon Appstore like the paid app for free promotion on the homepage. We have been working with many of you to line up quality apps for these programs, and we look forward to continuing to work with you to promote your titles.


Reporting in the Developer Portal:


Now that we’re live, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with Amazon Appstore reporting. You can find reporting once you log into your account in the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal. To view your reporting, log into the Developer Portal and click on the “Reports” tab.  You will see a page that looks like this:

Dev-portal-reporting

 
You should also submit any new apps or app updates. We encourage you to take advantage of the launch momentum to get your app(s) in front of customers as soon as possible.

March 13, 2011

amberta

If you love those birds and hate those pigs like we do, you will be pleased to hear that an all-new installment of the quirky bird pack is coming soon. The Android version of Angry Birds Rio, the follow up to the smash hits Angry Birds and Angry Birds Seasons, will launch exclusively in the Amazon Appstore. 


What does this mean for you?
More traffic, more customers! The Angry Birds franchise has been downloaded over 100 million times – the Android installed base is over 30 million . When we launch the Amazon Appstore, we will be teaming with Rovio to drive those customers to the store - which means more traffic to the Amazon Appstore and more customers for you.


In preparation for our store launch, we launched the Amazon Appstore for Android Facebook page and @amazonappstore Twitter handle today.  We’ll use these communication vehicles to engage customers, and we encourage you to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay abreast of our consumer-focused messaging.  We will continue to post developer-centric news you can use on this blog and the @amznappstoredev Twitter handle.


The Amazon Appstore is launching very soon.  If you have not yet submitted your app, we encourage you to do so now to ensure your product is ready for launch!

AngryBird_Rio_AmazonAppstore_Android_Exclusive
 

February 16, 2011

amberta

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon.com, you’ve likely seen items show up throughout the site based on what you recently browsed or purchased, as well as what other customers have browsed or purchased.  The same thing will be true for apps – they will show up on Amazon.com based on algorithms (which are based on customer behavior).

Let’s take a look at three of the automated placement types and how they work:

  • Search results
  • Browse based results
  • Bestsellers


Search results:
Out of the gate, your app will show up in search results across Amazon.com.  That’s the no-brainer.  Amazon has also come up with quite a few algorithms that display items relevant to the browsing customer – meaning, we deliver a more targeted audience to developers and vendors.  Simple, right? 


Browse based results:
On the Amazon.com homepage we’re constantly striving to help customers find what they’re looking for.  To do this, we often present items that are similar to what a specific customer has been browsing, or what’s in their cart or on one of their lists. 

We present these items in sections such as “More Items to Consider,” “New For You,” “Related to Items You’ve Viewed,” and more: 

Homepage-auto-marketing

Throughout the site, we also display items based on other customers’ past purchases.  Here’s where it gets interesting.  Let’s say I buy an Android tablet from Amazon’s tablet store.  Then I visit the Amazon Appstore and download the IMDb app, the Audible app, and a few games. When another customer is looking at the Android tablet in Amazon’s tablet store, they may see the apps I downloaded in a section called “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”:

Customers-who-bought

Other places your app may show up include “What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?”

What-customers-buy

As the name implies, this shows what customers browsed and then actually bought. 


Bestsellers:
Another interesting spot is Bestsellers within the Amazon Appstore.  We will be displaying Bestsellers separated by “Free” and “Paid” apps to make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for.  This also helps avoid “Paid” apps getting buried under all of the “Free” apps that may be downloaded more often because they’re free.

Bestsellers

We’re constantly striving to make the customer experience easy and to help vendors and developers get more than just a spot in a store. 


Stay tuned for more great ways to get your app(s) exposure. 

February 04, 2011

amberta

Last week we talked about what a detail page looks like over the fold in the Amazon Appstore for Android.  This week, we’re going to dive into what customers see when they scroll down.  Before we talk about what’s under the fold, here’s a look at the Airport Mania: First Flight app detail page over the fold.

Airport-mania-detail-page-top

While the first thing most customers see when they’re looking at apps is the title, icon, and price, what cinches the deal is often what’s in the details.  So what does this mean for you?  The content under the fold is invaluable in helping customers make decisions about what to buy/download and what to skip.  It’s important to provide details including images and appropriate descriptions that show what your app can really do.

There are 5 key components of a detail page “below the fold.”  The first two are are:

1.  Product Details
2.  Product Features

Airport-mania-detail-page-product-details-features
 

Product Details
This is the “just the facts ma’am” section where we bottom line what the customer is getting, ASIN (Amazon Standard Item Number - this is your unique Amazon app ID similar to what a barcode is for products in stores), dates of note, and average customer rating.   You’ll see we encourage customers to tell us what they think.

Product Features
Here’s where we bottom line what your app is all about – we take this information directly from what you put into the Developer Portal, so it’s important to list accurate, helpful features.  If a customer doesn’t have time to read the detailed description, they can get the gist from the Features.

3.  Product Description

Airport-mania-detail-page-description
 

Product Description
We use the Description you provided in the “Description” section on the Appstore Developer Portal as well as information that’s on your website (if applicable) to create a detail page with rich, helpful information about your app.  We also like to include images in the Description when available (we pull these from the screenshots you provide with your app submission).  An abbreviated version of this description is included on the detail page in the mobile store itself (stay tuned for a peak at a detail page on the mobile store!).  If your app doesn’t sell itself, we hope the product description helps.   

The final two sections are really all about you and the app requirements.  They are:
4.    Developer Info
5.    Technical Data


Airport-mania-detail-page-dev-info-tech-details
 

Developer Info
We want to boost your brand.  Here’s where you can talk about who you are and what your expertise is.  We pull this directly from what you put in the Developer Portal.

Technical Data
As the name implies, this is where we put the technical info including app size and version.

January 28, 2011

amberta

During the process of submitting your app, you are required to submit information that will eventually show up on the site.  We wanted to give a little more detail around where all this information actually goes, so we’re going to dive into a real detail page and lay it out for you.

Here’s a look at a real live detail page – this is the detail page for the IMDb app in the Amazon Appstore for Android (don’t get too excited, it’s not live … yet).  Why is it called a detail page might you ask?  This is the page where customers can get details about your app – hence, detail page.  Pretty straightforward, right? 

Over the fold there are three primary places you’ll be providing content for.

   Detail-page-amazon-appstore-for-android

 

  1. Title and Vendor information: This is where we put the title of your app (in bold).  We’ll also put your vendor name here.  A nice bonus is, if you have multiple apps in the Amazon Appstore, your vendor name links to a search page that reveals all of your apps.
  2. Price: Here’s where we display how much your app costs.  If there is a promotion going on with your app, the promotion price associated with your app will be reflected here along with the original price (so customers see what a great deal they’re getting).
  3. Your app icon, video, and screenshots: Remember how we said it was important to submit compelling images?  Here’s why!  They’re up front and often the first thing customers see.  Also, customers can click into the image to see a bigger size.  

But wait, there’s more!  The scrolling part that you see at the bottom of this screenshot is a slot that is automatically created as purchases of your app pick up.  This slot is called “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought” and as the name implies, when appropriate, your app icon, title, rating, and price will show up on other item’s pages if customers bought that item and your app.  Even non-app pages!  Here’s an example: a customer buys an Android phone and then buys your app (they need to stock their phone, right?). Your app has a good shot of showing up on the bottom of that page to future customers!

January 20, 2011

amberta

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Use that picture (and those hypothetical thousand words) to effectively market your app. 

When you submit your app to the Amazon Appstore for Android through the Developer Portal, you will need to submit an icon, a thumbnail, a promotional image, a square version of the promotional image, and screenshots.  Having compelling images help get your app noticed.  Also, great looking apps look great on our store – if you look good, we look good!

Here are details and recommendations for creating great images for all your submissions:

Image-grid
Some dos and don’ts.

Do:

  • Create separate app icons and thumbnails. These images should be the same with dimensions being the only difference between the two.  This will be the first image customers interface with, so keep the image simple, vibrant, and most importantly clear.
  • Fill the space required with all images.  For icons especially, if your image is not a perfect square, or if it has a curved border enclosing the image, add a transparent background.  Icons show up against both a white background and a black background in our store.If you have a non-transparent white background to fill the dimensions for the required image, it will look broken against the black background.  
  • Provide screenshots that really show what your app can do – put your (app's) best face forward.  This is your opportunity to show-off your app's best features.
  • Make sure you own the rights to the images you use.  Think the top selling apps have cool images?  The developers behind those apps think so too.  So, if you want to use someone else's images you must prove that license-free images are indeed free, you own rights to and/or can use the images without a license, or have permission to use licensed images.  
  • Use high resolution images only – stretching and morphing images just to fit our required dimensions will look … well, stretched and morphed.  Aka, not great.

Here’s an example of a “do” icon image:

Mp3-icon-do

Don’t:

  • Use whitespace to fill the required dimensions
  • Cut out important parts of the image (think about all those old family pics where no-one has feet.  Looks funny, right?) 
  • Watermark the image or try to alter the colors from the real color (this is especially important for screenshots.  Altering the colors and/or image for screenshots alters the customer’s expectations.  Altering the colors for the icon leaves customers with an inconsistent experience and they’re not sure if this is the “real” version of the app.
  • Squeeze words into the image or icon – remember, your picture is worth a thousand words!  You don’t need to tell a story on top of the picture.  If there’s text you think is important to include with your app listing, include it in the details about the app so we can use it on the detail page for that app.
  • Add a wannabe iTunes app sheen (you don’t need to put a glossy 3D effect over your icon)
  • Add a drop shadow to the bottom or around your images.  When the images are small, the drop shadow can look like a mistake or smudge.
  • Stretch your images to meet our requirements – stretching just makes them pixilated and looks bad.

You can learn more about image guidelines and best practices in the Appstore Developer Portal online here.

That’s it!  So go tell your app to “say cheese!”