August 27, 2013, 12:05 PM

Amazon lets app developers in as affiliates

Shoppers can make purchases from Amazon while using an app or playing games.

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Amazon.com Inc. today announced it is expanding its Amazon Associates affiliate programto allow mobile app developers to link to Amazon or sell Amazon.com products within their apps and get a cut of those sales. Amazon says its affiliate program will help app developers better monetize their apps and games. Amazon will pay app developers commissions that range between 4% and 6% for any sales they generate.

“Developers now have the ability to create an even deeper connection between their app and the products customers value and purchase through Amazon.com,” says Mike George, vice president of Amazon appstore, games and cloud drive.
Developers can use the program in three ways:

  • They can sell a single item from Amazon within the app or game. For example, when a consumer encounters a giant three-headed wolf at the end of a game, it can then sell that user the “Three Wolf Moon” T-shirt from Amazon.
  • They can showcase a product category. For example, a nutrition and fitness app developer can sell its users vitamins, supplements and fitness gear within the app from Amazon.
  • They can bundle a physical product from Amazon with digital content within the app. For example, a developer can sell a toy version of a game character, then automatically enable the user to play as that same character.

Days of Wonder Inc., which produces both physical and app-based games, is using the bundling approach as it rolls out an updated version of its mobile app. The revamped app lets consumers buy the board game version of its Ticket to Ride game via Amazon when users play the digital game.

“This really is a natural evolution of our company’s business model—bridging the gap between high quality physical and digital board gaming,” says Eric Hautemont, Days of Wonder founder and CEO. “Amazon is uniquely positioned to offer this kind of physical in-app shopping experience and we were well positioned to take advantage of it.”

Today’s move builds on previous Amazon efforts to help developers encourage consumers to make purchases while playing a game. For instance, in April 2012 it launched an in-app purchasing service that let app developers sell digital content and subscriptions from within apps and games.

"Offering physical goods was a natural extension to our in-app purchasing API," says an Amazon spokeswoman.

Amazon is No. 1 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide.

 

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