Web Services

by Mike Masnick

How Amazon Opens Up And Cleans Up

from the the-e-commerce-platform dept

Just yesterday we had an article about how Amazon's technology was becoming their biggest product, but that could soon change as people continue to innovate around Amazon's web services offering, letting just about anyone access Amazon's vast database, and built interesting and useful applications on it. When they originally launched this offering a number of developers thought it was cool, but weren't sure what could actually be done with it. However, given some time, data, and an open API, creative developers are always going to come up with interesting solutions. I don't know if any of these are really a "killer app" yet, but Amazon now has a vision of being the "e-commerce platform" for the world. There's something appealing about that notion. If, anytime you wanted to sell something on your website, you could easily hook into Amazon's catalog, transaction processing, and fulfillment process, there are some interesting possibilities. Right now, it's just simple things, such as creating a way to automatically match up the top song titles being played on the radio with those CDs at Amazon. In the future, though, you could see how an even bigger and more powerful Amazon could become something of a central "bucket of e-commerce" which many other sites pull from in creative ways. So, then, the question becomes how big is this opportunity, really? As I said, it's an appealing idea, but how many people actually buy through these sorts of applications vs. those who just go to Amazon and buy it themselves. The "killer app" built on top of Amazon would need to have really compelling reasons to buy directly through it - and I don't think anyone's gotten that far yet.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2003 @ 3:56am

    What a stupid idea

    Why buy from anywhere else when you can go directly to Amazon?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gluefreak, 24 Jun 2003 @ 7:41am

    It's not a stupid idea

    "Why buy from anywhere else" -- you're still buying from amazon, the question is how you're finding out about the product you're buying. It's not a transaction question, it's a marketing question.

    I'd compare it to the way other web portals have started using google's search technology. You could say "Why should I search from Yahoo when I could just go to Google?" And yet people obviously do search (Google) from Yahoo's interface...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 24 Jun 2003 @ 9:10am

    No Subject Given

    The real value in the transaction process is not the ecommerce transaction itself - its helping you decide what to buy. Amamzon didn't do anything revolutionary with the process of book buying, what they did was make a massive amount of books available and then merchandise them in nifty ways. Its old hat now - but the "what other people are buying" feture was revolutionary at the time. If I need a book on a specialized subject where will I find the best content to assist me in the buying process. Amamzon, or some website run by an expert in that subject? And if that expert sells books via Amamzon do I care who has the backend of the transaction?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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