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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. 

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 13, 2011

amberta

It’s well known that Amazon is all about customer experience.  With a growing developer customer-base, we’re constantly striving to make it easier for developers to do just that – develop!  Last month, we launched an Amazon Web Services (AWS) SDK for Android.  “We’re really excited about the launch of the AWS SDK’s for mobile,” says Jeff Barr, Senior Web Services Evangelist, Amazon Web Services.  “As a developer myself, I’m looking forward to seeing all sorts of cool and creative AWS-powered applications show up on mobile devices in the future.”

Some highlights of the AWS SDK for Android include:

  • Storage – developers can store and retrieve any amount of data using Amazon S3
  • Database – developers can add a highly available, scalable, and flexible non-relational data store using Amazon SimpleDB with little or no administrative burden
  • Messaging – developers can integrate reliable, highly scalable mobile-to-mobile communication into applications using Amazon SQS and Amazon SNS

The SDK includes a library, full documentation, and some sample code.  You can get the library on GitHub.  Also, in true open source fashion, AWS is open to and encourages external contributions.

Check out this blog post on the AWS blog for more details about the AWS SDK as well as an iOS SDK.  You can download the AWS SDK, access documentation, and participate in the discussion forum online here.

Finally, right now Amazon has a free usage tier available to new AWS customers to help get started in the cloud.  As of November 1, 2010, new customers can run a free Amazon EC2 Micro Instance for a year, while also leveraging a new free usage tier for Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS data transfer.  AWS’s free usage tier can be used for anything you want to run in the cloud: launch new applications, test existing applications in the cloud, or simply gain hands-on experience with AWS.  Learn more here.

January 04, 2011

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

You may have seen the buzz in Android blogs and forums about Amazon doing something… appy!  Today Amazon.com launched the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal.  You can find the Portal at developer.amazon.com.  It is a new self-service tool that allows mobile application developers—Android developers in particular—to join our Appstore Developer Program and submit apps for the upcoming launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android.

At Amazon, we start with the customer and work backwards, and we’re always looking for ways to improve the customer experience.  The sheer number of apps available today makes it hard for customers to find high-quality, relevant products – and developers similarly struggle to get their apps noticed.  Amazon’s innovative marketing and merchandising features are designed to help customers find and discover relevant products from our vast selection, and we’re excited to apply those capabilities to the apps market segment.

Our customers also have a strong interest in mobile, and across the company we are working hard to make our great products and services available on mobile devices. We continue to innovate the mobile shopping experience with the Amazon Shopping app, Amazon Price Check and the recently launched Windowshop for the iPad. We have numerous Kindle apps, and customers can shop our MP3 store from their mobile devices. Our subsidiaries like IMDB and Audible also have robust mobile applications.  An Appstore is a logical next step for Amazon in mobile. 

Why should you submit your apps for inclusion in the Amazon Appstore for Android?

  • For the first time, you will have access to tens of millions of active Amazon customers.
  • Amazon’s proven marketing and merchandizing features will help you get your apps discovered and in front of the right customers.
  • The convenience of using an existing Amazon.com account will make it simple and easy for customers to purchase your apps - both online and on their mobile devices. 

The Appstore Developer Portal is your one-stop location to manage account details, manage marketing materials, and track sales and projected earnings using self-service and customizable reports.  We encourage you to check out the Portal at developer.amazon.com and join the Appstore Developer Program today! 

- The Amazon Appstore Team

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