Amazon: You Wanna Buy Something. Trust Us.

Amazon’s new Windowshop app for iPad fills a need I didn’t know existed:

“I have all this disposable income and no idea what i should buy online.” (Part of me wants to say something snarky in response, but, sadly, I think most of us can relate to this– at least in a physical store.) In Amazon’s view, all those clueless people should stop idly contemplating buying something and just do it already. And as we all know, virtually no one (except, maybe, for Apple) is as good as Amazon at finding ways to make people buy things. If anyone can convince you that, yes, throwing that ____ in your cart is a great idea after all, it’s Amazon. (You can even get it tomorrow. For the price of a cup of coffee.)


Consumerism For Dummies

The new Windowshop app takes this approach even further, offering an experience that’s both overwhelming and strangely fun. You start off presented with a seemingly-endless set of columns, all showing pictures– and only pictures– of things you could buy. You can filter all you want. You can even dig into details, reviews, and all the other good stuff: the point is that you don’t have to be caught up in the minutiae. You don’t have to know where you’re going to get there. It’s stumbleupon… for spending money. (And that’s kind of scary.)


Why WindowShop is A Great Idea

This is the homepage of the future: an interactive, sweeping spectacle of controllable, filterable possibility that goes way outside the boundary of a single window. Forget Web design, Amazon seems to be saying: build experiences instead of pages. And isn’t that what Apple suggests you do if you’re an iOS developer?


Sitting leisurely on a couch, perusing the vast and unfathomably comprehensive catalogue of Amazon’s offerings, I’ve become certain this app was a good idea. Not only is it a convenient and tablet-centric way to browse the store when you know what you want: it’s a way to get swept up in the excitement of buying things.

What do you think of the new Windowshop app? Will you use it? Let me know in the comments!


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