Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The kid-friendly tool now features sporting goods and browsing by brand.
For children growing up in the age of mobile commerce, writing a paper letter to Santa may seem passé. Amazon.com Inc. began offering one digital alternative last November, the Amazon Santa App, which allows kids to create Christmas gift lists with parental supervision and send them to family, friends and Santa. This year, the free app for iPad and Kindle Fire tablets is updated to feature browsing by brand, a sporting goods category and more books, toys and other family-friendly items to shop, Amazon says.
The app opens with whimsical music and holiday designs. Kids or parents may search through the thousands of items in the app by category—books, toys, games, movies, sporting goods and video games—or by brand, such as Lego or Polly Pocket. The new sporting goods category includes products such as scooters, helmets and trampolines.
Selected items fall into a horizontal tray at the bottom of the app, forming the list. Wish list items link to product pages on Amazon.com.
Parents must log in to their Amazon accounts before they or their children send a list to Santa, friends or family via e-mail. The list then appears inside a digital letter to Santa. Parents may review and edit it before sending. Only contacts approved by parents will be able to see the list, and all viewers can see which items are purchased to avoid duplicate gifts, Amazon says.
On Amazon.com, the app is rated at three out of five stars with 24 customer reviews; in Google Inc.’s Play store, it rates 2.6 out of five stars with 12 reviews. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.