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IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

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Amazon opens up in-app purchasing with API release

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Amazon  has introduced an API for Android mobile devices that means app and games developers can start to sell Amazon products within their apps and games.

When using the new API, developers earn up to 6% on qualifying in-app customer purchases, while delivering another way for customers for  buy goods. Until  now, if developers wanted to create additional revenue channels for their apps they could use a “freemium” model with digital in-app purchasing or subscriptions, or else use mobile ads. With the Mobile Associates API, developers now have a way to monetise their apps and games by offering "contextually relevant" goods across Amazon’s fulfillment network. The API can be used in the Amazon Appstore and in Google Play, and interested developers can learn more about integrating the new Mobile Associates API.

“Developers now have the ability to create an even deeper connection between their app and the products customers value and purchase through Amazon.com,” said Mike George, vice president of Amazon Appstore, Games and Cloud Drive. “Imagine a developer of a nutrition and fitness app can now offer their customers the ability to purchase vitamins, supplements and fitness gear within the app, directly from Amazon. It offers the customer a more relevant experience and provides the developer with a new source of revenue.”

App and game developers as well as existing Amazon associates can create new user experiences within apps and games in three ways: selling a single item from within an app or game, showcasing a category of goods, or bundling the purchase of physical goods with the purchase of digital goods (for example, the customer receives a digital version of a board game when they buy the physical one).

And a few developers are already using the capability.

Animoca is a mobile app developer of games like Thor: Lord of Storms. "The mobile associates API allowed us to build an in-app custom offer wall featuring relevant Amazon goods on the game Thor: Lord of Storms, such as Thor’s popular hammer or action figures," said Yusuf Goolamabbas, CTO of Animoca. "We can now provide a complete in-app gaming and merchandising experience. Using the API we can give away free virtual items like in-game currency whenever players purchase physical products from our offer wall. This will increase player engagement and help us make money through earning commission for each sale.

"We are very happy with the ease of integration of this API and applaud Amazon for its innovative combination of real-world commerce and freemium gaming."

The Mobile Associates API is an extension of Amazon Associates, which is web-based affiliate programme with affiliates worldwide. This latest launch has prompted  Amazon to argue it has "the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for developers building, monetising and marketing" their apps and games.

These capabilities include:

* In-app purchasing on Kindle Fire, Android, Mac, PC and web-based games. This enables developers to offer their digital items in apps and games while allowing end users to simply use their Amazon accounts to make the purchase.

* A/B testing, which helps developers improve app functionality with the ability to simultaneously test two different in-app experiences to determine which is more successful prior to launching to a broad audience.

* Game Connect, which lets developers of PC and Mac games list their virtual goods for sale on Amazon, increasing discoverability of their games and making the purchase of virtual goods as easy and convenient as possible for customers

* Amazon Appstore, which allows developers to distribute their apps and games to Amazon customers in nearly 200 countries.

* Mobile Ads, which helps developers monetise their apps by displaying relevant display ads from brand advertisers, including Amazon.

Analysts are already saying that the ability to sell physical merchandise easily means that just about any developer will be able to add a new and much-needed revenue stream to their app. A cooking app can sell kitchen goods or a travel app can sell offline guidebooks with just a couple of taps has great potential, they argue.

For consumers, the world of online advertising crawls and pop-ups  could soon be replaced by promotional sales links. Eventually it's possible that that every product mentioned in an app could be available to buy.

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