In April this year Strategy Analytics? Wireless Media Lab undertook a benchmark evaluation of the recently launched Amazon App Store - Amazon Appstore Provides Excellent User Experience but App Purchase Process a Major Concern - with a number of existing smartphone owners. One of the questions we posed to participants was whether they thought the Amazon App Store could change the way they think about purchasing applications.
This week I was working on a different project and was chatting to a participant who came to the study in April, and who had just started using the Amazon App Store back then. For this particular participant, the Amazon App Store had changed his behaviour.
Prior to the session, he had the Amazon App Store icon on one of his secondary homescreens. This participant already knew about a number of features the app store provided, including the free app a day, and confessed that he did occasionally go and have a look in the store to see if there was anything of interest to download.
A few weeks later, he admitted that he had moved the Amazon App Store icon to his main homepage, to remind him that the store existed, and now visits the store at least once a day to check out what the free app available is. He also noted that while he was now making a conscious effort to visit the Amazon App Store on a daily basis, he felt he was also visiting the Android Market more frequently as well, to compare availability and prices of different apps. He also believed that the number of apps he was downloading was also increasing.
In the conclusion of our report on the Amazon App Store, we wrote that ?The `Paid App For Free Every Day' feature should help to drive users to the Amazon Appstore, and take some of their attention away from Android Market. Amazon needs to market the free paid app effectively in order to attract regular customers.?
While this case study is based on one specific individual, it demonstrates that by offering an innovative business model, Amazon has been able to capture the attention and loyalty of at least some users. Interestingly, my conversation also suggests that competition among app stores on the same platform can drive increased activity across multiple storefronts..