Amazon’s One button app, deals await !AKiATECH
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an amazon addict. If they ever decided to hold AA meetings for Amazon shoppers I would definitely warrant an invitation. I mean it’s not hard to understand why I’m hooked with an estimated 237 Mil. subscribers and 162 Mil. unique visitors in the month of July, the company must be doing something right.
I remember the first time I bought something online. I was actually floating around somewhere in the pacific on a ship that was to be my home for a number of years. As you may or may not know major couriers such as UPS or FedEx don’t provide ocean bound deliveries so you’re kinda stuck with snail mail IF you can actually find a company that will ship to ships.
“I was determined to find a book an actual book, with paper”
When I was a kid I used to read a lot but as I grew older and the internet became more popular, the concept of reading a book seemed to go the way of the dodo. Everything seemed to be online. Eventually after a while I decided that I wanted to read something that was not published on the internet. I was determined to find a book an actual book, with paper. So I was on my way, on a mission to locate a relic from the past, a tool that was used to store information, not on CD’s and diskettes.
To begin this journey, I turned to the one place that I knew I would find what I was looking for, the internet (go figure). After a few searches it became painfully obvious that it was not going to be easy to find a company that would mail stuff to a ship. Eventually I realized that Amazon was the way to go and shortly after my books were purchased and were on their way to my home on the ocean.
Now that you know how I got bit by the Amazon bug, I will get to the actual point of this post. Amazon recently introduced their “1Button” app/plugin to the masses. They have for a while had a “1-click ordering” option on their website, this allowed their customers to skip the shopping cart and as the name says place their orders in one click. The 1Button is a little different, think of it as a miniature Amazon for your browser or mobile device.
Amazon 1Button, “Price Check” reincarnated
Once the app is installed it adds a small Amazon icon to your browser toolbar. When you click on this button it provides you with a few icons with links to deals and other offerings such as music and the Amazon cloud drive.
Although the application seems pretty straightforward, it has, from my observations a more “sinister” purpose. A few years ago the company release another app know as “Price Check by Amazon”. This app was also a tool to help you find the best prices on Amazon. This was accomplished by having potential customers that happened to be shopping in a typical brick and mortar establishment use their phones with the price check application installed to scan the bar codes of the same item in the store that they were patronizing and compare it with the current price on Amazon’s website.
In my opinion this had one obviously apparent benefit for the customer, they would find the lowest price and hopefully would save a few dollars in the process. For Amazon though, there were two main advantages. The first advantage is that they would know exactly what the competition was charging for the same product and could possibly with the right technology, match prices in real-time. The second advantage for them would be having their prospective customers do all the work for them potentially saving them from having to pay people to go around and check prices for them. You could even throw a third
intended side effect into the mix. If a customer constantly see’s that the prices of the products they use are cheaper online, why would they want to go through the hassle of going to stores anymore when they could just order from Amazon. This approach has the potential to effectively erode consumer confidence in the B&M model as a whole in favor of acquiring their goods on line, specifically on Amazon’s website.
The reason I mentioned the price check app is because the 1Button app is pretty much an offshoot of that prior application. The way the 1Button app differs is that instead of targeting B&M stores, it now targets online shopping sites. The way it is implemented is very clever. After the app is installed you will begin to see notifications at the top of your browser showing a link to the Amazon listing and the current price for any item that it detects in the browser viewport while browsing popular e-tailers. This is not the first app to do this, there have been similar deal plugins such as FastestFox and Hoverhound but never one from my experience where the extension directs shoppers to its own website to purchase the listed items.
This is revolutionary for one main reason, it helps you to track and influence your target demographic’s purchasing patterns while simultaneously undercutting the competition. There is one glaring shortcoming with the 1Button app though, it tends show you the price on amazon’s website regardless of the fact that it may actually be higher than the site you are shopping on. Whether this is intentional or not, I’m not sure, but it could be beneficial for the perception of the company in that they provide you with the best price even if it’s not on their site.
How far will amazon go to take money from their competitors pockets? With the tax-free purchasing loophole now seemingly closed, the company will have to be more creative in the way it achieves its bottom line. I for one will probably be shopping on amazon as long as there is an Amazon to shop on, as long as the prices stay low and Prime membership fees don’t shoot through the roof.