Amazon is stepping out of the jungle only to fall into a trap.
For years people have been wondering – when will Amazon redesign their site. Of course it’s been changed in small iterations over the years but all in all it’s not that far from what they launched in 1995. Amazon is absolutely one of the best example of a formula one shopping experience from a social networking and artificial intelligence perspectives. But now they’ve taken the whole thing a step further. Basement.org shares the news that Amazon has launched a new shopping experience called Amazon Windowshop Beta. Wow – I’m exited.
So what’s Amazon Windowshop Beta. We’ll it’s basically what it’s called – a window shopping experience. As you enter the shop you get to navigate with your keyboard through a papervision/cooliris experience type of interface. As you browse the images and categories Amazon obviously things you’ll start shopping – this is where they go wrong according to me. It’s fun the first couple of minutes to browse the products but I quickly find myself missing recommendations, reviews, other suggestions etc etc etc. The flash interface let’s you play around for a while but I quickly get tired of the whole thing and leave – long before my buy now finger starts to dazzle.
Why is Amazon doing this? That’s a question I’d love to ask the people behind this. When the rest of the worlds is fighting to make their sites more user friendly, simpler design and at least 10% as smart as Amazon.com then these guys go the other way. It’s a little 2006 this whole thing.
Instead, why don’t you go truly rich? Why doesn’t Amazon launch TV instead. I’m calling it TV cause I don’t mean Video. What I think Amazon should do is launch a bunch of TV channels online, hosted both at Amazon.com and other social networks. They should make sure the bring on some TV personalities that creates a show much like Fashion TV or Top Gear for example. Travel the world and do reports, review products etc. While you’re at it make sure you integrate the products closely or even inside the shows. Make sure you launch a couple of widgets and iPhone apps to support this new thing. Bring in celebrities to ad some spice to the show. By doing something like this Amazon would embody their store and give it personality.
Amazon! Amaze us an launch the best freaking online TV channel out there. And of course…don’t let this beta turn into an alpha.