Amazon’s march to online domination has come thanks to a number of strategies. Most obvious is the low pricing, the supply chain management and the facility to let anyone sell their wares through the marketplace. However, the ease of use of the website is also a core part of this – and by extension, any mobile app created needs to offer all of the main features of the browser-based experience.
Available for Windows Phone since the platform launched in 2010, the Amazon Mobile app has its limitations. For instance, it isn’t available in all territories (although North America and the UK are covered). On the other hand, the app is free from the Windows Phone apps + games service – but does it deliver on functionality?
Features For Easy Shopping
If you’ve ever hit the shopping mall and found what you thought was an attractive item, you might have wondered how much you could save by buying it online. This is just one of the ways in which the Amazon Mobile app can prove useful to you.
When you first launch, you’ll notice on the Welcome screen that there is an option to pin the barcode scanning app to your Windows Phone Start screen – the scanner itself can be launched via the small barcode symbol to the right of the search box, which is also presented on the Welcome screen. You can also manage your basket, wish list, check your orders and manage your account (cancel orders, track packages, manage 1-click settings, etc.) via the options on the Welcome screen.
A swipe to the left will reveal items that Amazon things will interest you, the recommendations that you see when you open Amazon in your desktop browser.
Easy Access to Your Basket and More
The success of this app is in its simplicity.
When you think of Amazon, you’re reminded of pages upon pages of items, long search results pages and all of the categories listed on the left. Just check out our Amazon shopping guide to see how much is available. Things can seem a bit busy.
With this mobile app, you don’t need to worry about categories until you’ve started a search. Searching for an item displays results, and you can tap the All Departments button on the results page to display the list of available departments to filter down the results.
Unfortunately this is the only way to filter the results, but easy access is given to your Basket, the Search tool and the app’s Home screen via the ellipses menu (easily identified by the three dots: “…”).Viewing your basket will enable you to remove items, save them for later or take them to the checkout for instant purchase, while your wishlist can also be quickly managed.
Shopping Online with Amazon Mobile
So, how easy is it to find and purchase an item on Amazon Mobile?
Let’s assume you’re away from your desktop computer, browsing a book store. You spot a title that you would like to buy – but you’re not happy with the price. Surely it could be cheaper on Amazon?
To check, you would launch the app and tap the barcode button (or you might have already pinned the barcode scanner to the Start screen) launching the camera/barcode scanner view. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of seconds to scan the item and view the price on Amazon.
With the item viewed, you can tap it to view further details and use the Buy Now, add to basket and add to wishlist options – you can also check reviews, although note that the app will only display the top-rated reviews.
When viewing an item, you can also share it by email, SMS text message, Facebook or Twitter, while new and used alternatives can be viewed along with related items.
This Windows Phone Amazon app is an ideal shopper’s companion, useful either as your sole interface with Amazon (in which case, you’ll need to be careful with the reviews) or as the handy price checking tool that could save you money in a bricks and mortar store.
Well designed and easy to use, the features on offer might not match those of the full browser-based service, but then they were never meant to. The Amazon Mobile app for Windows Phone 8 is one of the top apps for the platform – don’t miss it.