E-commerce grew 20% for Costco in fiscal 2015—20 times faster than store sales.
The applications make online shopping easier and faster, retailers say.
Amazon.com Inc. has released a new Windowshop application that makes it easier and faster to shop on its e-commerce site from a desktop or laptop computer, the retailer says. In a related move, members-only daily deal site Gilt Groupe Inc. has launched Gilt for Chrome. Both applications are optimized for Google Inc.’s Chrome web browser and available for a free download from Google’s newly launched Chrome Web Store.
"Windowshop's fluid user interface is optimal for the impressive speed of the Chrome browser, and offers customers an experience they can only find with Amazon.com,” says Eva Manolis, Amazon's vice president, retail customer experience.
Amazon describes Windowshop as a “visually rich display where customers can browse more than 40 product categories and get an up-close look at an item to review images, detailed descriptions, customer reviews, related products and multimedia content.” It adds that shoppers on Amazon can use the Windowshop application to view multiple types of Amazon.com content from a single page, including personalized recommendations, Amazon Bestsellers, New Releases, Most Gifted items and Most Wished For items.
Amazon has also released a Windowshop app for Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer, offering similar shopping functionality.
At Gilt Groupe, Gilt for Chrome lets shoppers browse Gilt’s daily sales within a single web page, search among Gilt sales by different characteristics, get notifications of new products for sale, and save product searches for future reference.
“Gilt for Chrome was specifically designed with the modern web user in mind,” says Esther Park, senior product manager at Gilt Groupe. “Our intent is to build the best e-commerce experience in step with emerging technology.”
Google says the Chrome Web Store, currently open only in the U.S., will become available in many countries early next year.
In addition, Google said in a blog post yesterday that it will make available computer notebooks loaded with the Chrome operating system to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. The Chrome OS, which is based on Chrome browser technology, enables Chrome notebooks to instantly access the web and represents Google’s most direct challenge yet to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system.
In the first half of next year, Chrome notebooks will be available for sale from computer manufacturers Acer and Samsung, with additional manufacturers to follow, according to the blog post by vice president of engineering Linus Upson and vice president of product management Sundar Pichai.
Google, which launched the Chrome web browser in 2008, says it now has 120 million users.