Amazon Mobile App: Content Problems for Smaller Screens

Screenshot of Toshiba A+ on Amazon mobile browserWhen the Amazon A+ 2.0 system was rolled out, one of the touted benefits was better optimisation for mobile platforms. This wasn’t really a surprise – for years Amazon’s patchy implementation of A+ for mobile browsers and its own app has a thorn in the side for brands hoping to get their richer content in front of as many consumer eyeballs as possible. A+ has never been cheap, and with the number of us using our smartphones to shop rising year on year, this was increasingly looking like a missed opportunity for retailer and vendors alike.

Recent studies have shown that almost 80% of consumers are using smartphones to do in-store product research* when shopping for appliances. Amazon is also estimated to be currently lagging behind eBay in mobile purchases.comScore mobile reach research for UK online retailers

Sadly, the new system has taken some time to make good on these promises. Until recently, all you could count on seeing on your smartphone was a page of badly formatted text, with the occasional out-of-place image if you were lucky.

AScreenshot of Toshiba A+ on Amazon Mobile Android Appmazon Mobile Android App, iPhone App, and Mobile Browsers

However, when the system was recently updated with a set of fixes, one of the tweaks was focused on mobile. Now, on both the Android Amazon mobile app and on mobile browsers, you should stand a good chance of seeing all the content that’s available on desktop/laptop screens.

Granted, there’s nothing particularly special on show. Whatever orientation your device is in, you’ll only get a single column which simplifies the layout of the A+ down to an image-text-image-text format. However, the order is logical, headers and subtitles are clearly defined, and the spacing makes it readable, even on a cramped screen. Some of the design elements even make it through the transition, like breakout boxes and bulleted lists.

There’s also a consistency to how detail pages now display in browser and app which is a nice and long-awaited touch. As you can see from the screenshots, tScreenshot of Toshiba A+ on Amazon Mobile Android Apphere’s really no difference between the two platforms now.

iPad App and Windows Mobile App

However, all is not quite as rosy as it seems. When looking at products on an iPad or Windows device, the Amazon app is still not showing the new A+ content. Checking with colleagues, I’ve found the same thing on other iPad devices, but the iPhone App seems to display the content fine. Hopefully this is just a case of the iPad app version being slightly behind the curve, but we’ll keep an eye on it and update this post as and when changes happen.

*(Source: Deloitte, December 2013)