Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Amazon Opens Its Associates Affiliate Program To Mobile App Developers – TechCrunch

Amazon Opens Its Associates Affiliate Program To Mobile App Developers – TechCrunch
Written by publishing team

Amazon today announced the expansion of its long-running Amazon Associates program for mobile app developers. The affiliate program, which allows members to advertise and link to Amazon products in exchange for a percentage of sales, will be made available to participating developers through the newly launched Mobile Associates API. Additionally, the company says it will also provide the ability for mobile app developers to sell physical products from Amazon through in-app purchase.

The Mobile Associates API will be made available to Android app developers who design apps and games for the Kindle Fire and other Android devices, and will save developers 4 percent up to 6 percent on eligible customer purchases. Items can include both physical and digital products sold by Amazon.

This opens up another avenue for monetizing mobile apps, Amazon explains, saying that before that developers were limited to in-app purchases, ads and subscriptions.

In the company’s announcement this morning, Mike George, Vice President of Amazon Appstore, Games, and Cloud Drive, provided an example of how this might work, saying, “Imagine a nutrition and fitness app developer who can now provide their customers with the ability to purchase vitamins, supplements, and in-app fitness equipment directly from Amazon .com. It provides the customer with a more relevant experience and provides the developer with a new source of revenue.”

After testing with Activision’s “Skylanders Cloud Patrol” last year, which offered toys for the game’s characters, Amazon has gone ahead with its plans to roll out the API to others. Early testers of the software include Animoca, Fismos, Days of Wonder, and Spring2Partners, who are integrating the software into their apps and games.

Days of Wonder will offer a version of its game “Ticket to Ride” in both digital and physical versions. Animoca “Thor: Lord of Storms” will feature related goods in its game, such as Thor’s hammer and action figures. Frismos’s Creatures of Olympus will associate myth-themed products with its game, and will also take advantage of a “digital pooling” feature to allow customers to use in-game virtual currency to purchase in-app products.

Spring2Partners’ SpringPad, an Evernote-like personal assistant, will integrate a new API into the app to link customer plans, ideas, and other saved items to purchases, such as books, movies, home improvement goods and even travel-related items.

App publishers are able to direct their customers to a mobile payment experience through in-app purchases, Amazon says. Here’s how it works for end users: The customer initiates an in-app purchase and is then presented with a dialog showing product and cost details. The customer can then complete the purchase using One Click Buy from Amazon, and the items will then be shipped directly.

Developers can either sell a single item, display a category of merchandise, or bundle a physical product with digital content within their apps. To implement the API, app makers choose from a specific set of ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Number), search terms, or use the Amazon Product Advertising API to query a list of ASINs and product information.

While many companies and startups already use affiliate programs in their apps — for example, some e-commerce aggregators and product recommendation services refer to and get a percentage of those sales. Some note-taking apps also send customers to relevant sites to make purchases, when needed, including Amazon and iTunes, among others.

But today Amazon is making it easier for developers to incorporate this behavior into their apps, while also potentially reducing cart abandonment rates by tackling the Amazon 1-Click payment experience. The company has a huge advantage in that it already has the credit card details of millions of registered customers as well.

Amazon’s move to physical goods comes shortly after Facebook ended its plans to sell physical goods via Facebook Gifts, to focus instead on its digital gift codes and gift card. At the time of Facebook Gifts’ launch in September 2012, it was believed that it might challenge Amazon in gift sales. This turned out to be a far cry from reality, as sales were slow and meager.

The new Mobile Associates API Quick Start Guide, sample code, and documentation are available here on Amazon.

About the author

publishing team