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August 27, 2013

Amazon’s Mobile Associates API to Enable Developers to Sell Physical Amazon Products in Their Apps

Amazon today announced the introduction of the Mobile Associates API, a tool aimed at enabling developers to sell both physical and digital items from the online shopping website within their apps and games.

The API – geared toward Kindle Fire and Android devices – allows developers to sell products sourced from Amazon while earning up to six percent in advertising fees on in-app customer purchases.

According to a statement from Amazon, the one-click purchase experience and Amazon Prime shipping would still be applicable for consumers buying products.

As well, developers are able to offer products relevant to their apps. For example, the developer of a fitness and nutrition app could offer their customers the option to purchase vitamins or fitness gear through the app.

“With the Mobile Associates API, developers now have a new way to monetize their apps and games by offering contextually relevant goods across Amazon’s world class physical fulfillment network. The API can be used in the Amazon Appstore and in Google Play,” says Amazon, adding the API “offers the customer a more relevant experience and provides the developer with a new source of revenue.”

Developers can choose a number of ways to sell merchandise through their apps. They can offer a single item for sale, offer a grouping of items related to their app, or bundle the purchase of physical goods with the purchase of digital goods. The last option refers to purchasing something physical – like a board game – and receiving a digital version as well.

App developers, says Amazon, are throwing their support behind the idea. Animoca, a mobile app developer behind titles like Thor: Lord of Storms, says the API will allow it to sell action figures and give away free virtual items with the purchase of a physical one.

“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,” Animoca said.