Hey, Amazon! Sell me MORE stuff
One of the criticisms I often see leveled at Amazon is that their devices are just selling machines for Amazon.
If that’s the case, they are more like mechanical looms than SmartPhones. ;)
I would looove an easy, seamless, 1-step process to buying things when I’m using my Amazon devices, but it just isn’t there yet.
On a daily basis, I use:
- a Kindle Paperwhite (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
- a Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile)
- an Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)
- an Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile)
What may happen in all of these cases is that I’m reading/watching something, and it references something else…and I might want it.
Let me give you an example.
Right now, I’m reading (and enjoying very much)
These Are The Voyages, TOS, Season One ( Season One Book 1) (at AmazonSmile)
by Marc Cushman
4.8 stars out of 5, 84 customer reviews
It’s sort of an authorized “biography” of the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series. The author had official access to materials (and people). At times, we actually get a day by day description of what was happening…and why.
It’s priced at $9.95: but I’m reading it as a
loan, covered byour free month (and it would have been part of my $9.99 a month after that).
The author says:
“In the latter half of Day 4 and for the first half of Day 5 the action moved to sickbay, where the world gets its first glimpse of an ebook (as Gary Mitchell reads from a video screen)…”
While I might quibble with that statement (I pointed out a reference to a “pocket reading machine” in 1945 in Flash! Kindles foretold in 1945), I did want to go back and see that scene, to see just how close it was to how e-books are today**.
is available for me to watch as part of Prime video at no additional cost. We are Prime members, and one of the benefits of that is being able to watch a lot of videos which are covered by our annual fee.
I did do that…but I had to go to one of my devices and look up the episode.
What would be really cool is if I could highlight the name of the episode in the e-book, and it just automatically took me to the Amazon Instant Video product page, where I could watch it. Having to go look for it is a barrier.
Now, I realize that some of you may think that my title for this post doesn’t apply, here because: I’m only borrowing the video, not buying it; and I’m not paying anything additional for it.
I think the same concept applies. I’m doing a “secondary buy”. Amazon wants me to “buy” Prime (they really, really want that…they are spending tons of money getting people to do that), and to remain a Prime member. Having me enjoy Prime is part of that, and getting me easily to a video I want to watch is a way to get me to enjoy it.
I’d also like to see them tell me how much money I saved…like I get at the end of my Safeway grocery receipt.
They don’t have to show me a running total (which could conceivably disappoint some people), but popping something up that says I saved $2.99 by watching this as part of my Prime (as opposed to buying it) would be nice and a validation for me to be in the program. The same thing should happen when I order a physical object with Prime…let me know what the two-day shipping would have been.
Oh, and even the highlighting could be easier. If I press one word in a title, there could be logic to look to see if that is part of an italicized phrase, in quotations, or part of a group of words in “Title Case” (all major words capitalized). It might have to offer the full selection (in case you were trying to look up one word in a quotation in a book), but I think it’s entirely doable.
The key thing here is that Amazon needs a search from within content for things it can sell you or secondarily sell you.
If one book mentions another book, let me jump to it with the option to borrow/read it.
If a book mentions a person, let me jump from that name to a store at Amazon…and a complete store, not just one kind of content.
These Are the Voyages mentions
If you click that link, it takes you to Amazon’s author page for Takei, which has a bio, a picture, latest tweet, blogposts…but no links to videos, games, clothing, and so on featuring the actor.
Absolutely, give me a way to filter to just books if I want (and they do let you filter by book format now), but give me a hub to everything Takei.
This should even work for non-brand names.
If I’m reading about somebody eating trail mix, I should be able to highlight that and be taken to a search at Amazon for trail mix.
Here’s another idea.
If a book mentions “…great movies of the 1930s”, and I choose to pursue that, first check for books or content with that phrase in the title. Then, do a search (using Silk) on the web. Here’s the kicker: give me a choice to filter to Amazon results.
So, the search finds The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
The “Amazon results” search then reenters those names into the content search at Amazon…and bam! I can get them there.
That would make Silk useful for me. ;)
Even though I wrote about
I have started to use it more on my Fire Phone.
That’s because they have a nice feature that works there…and doesn’t work in other browsers (I have Maxthon, my browser of choice) added to the phone.
When you are on a website, you can tip the phone back to scroll. The steeper the tip, the faster the scroll. It’s surprisingly nice to be able to scroll without touching the screen. The Fire Phone specializes in “no touch navigation”…which really does keep the screen considerably cleaner.
That’s a feature that is getting me to use Silk…having Amazon search results, reached intuitively and conveniently from my content would be another…and would result in more sales and borrows (and thus, enhanced loyalty) from Amazon.
These sorts of things should also happen when I’m watching video. See a TV character wearing a piece of clothing you want? I’d love to be able to ask my device to note it, and maybe find it for me later on Amazon. On a touchscreen device, it might be a question of tapping the clothing. When you wanted, it would ask you if you wanted more information on the actor, on what they were wearing, on the profession the person represented, on the character…lots of possibilities.
Is any of this easy?
No, and I understand that.
Would it make me even more bonded to Amazon? Without a doubt.
Bonus deal:Amazon had a deal yesterday with $20 off lots of “flavors” of the Paperwhite. Today, there is a one day deal with a much bigger savings: $130 off this specific model of
That’s just for the 32 GB version (with or without Special Offers).That brings it down to $299 (from $429) with Special Offers for this 8.9″ screen version of the latest Kindle Fire.
It also oddly makes the 32GB less expensive than the 16GB right now.
Check the price before you click that Buy button: this may not apply in your country, or you may see this after today’s sale has ended.
What do you think? How could Amazon be further integrated into your life…and should it be? Would “smart link shopping” be an attractive thing to you? Do you think you would buy more things from Amazon if it was even easier? Would you want to see a “you saved” statement? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
** There’s no arguing that Mitchell is reading e-books…and yes, that includes classics. The mechanism isn’t like a Kindle…it’s more like the Kindle for PC app, reading them on a pretty large screen. Each book appears to come on a separate “tape”, and they do have a reference to page numbers. It doesn’t appear that the Enterprise has all that many books. Mitchell reads “half the library”, in what is clearly a fast time, but not super fast…and we see how quickly the “esper” can turn pages.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.