Amazon's new API lets developers sell Amazon's physical goods as in-app purchases


Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched its Mobile Associates API, enabling Android developer partners to merchandise millions of physical and digital items within apps and games sold via the online retail giant's Appstore for Android and the rival Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play.

Android developers can leverage the Mobile Associates API to integrate Amazon's secure 1-Click purchase experience and Amazon Prime shipping to offer contextually relevant physical products, earning up to 6 percent of revenues on qualifying in-app customer purchases. Developers may offer a single item from within an app or game, showcase a category of goods, or bundle real-world items with virtual goods--e.g., offering consumers a digital version of a board game when they buy the physical edition.

"Imagine a developer of a nutrition and fitness app can now offer their customers the ability to purchase vitamins, supplements and fitness gear within the app, directly from," said Mike George, Amazon's VP of Appstore, Games and Cloud Drive. "It offers the customer a more relevant experience and provides the developer with a new source of revenue."

Select developers including Animoca, Fismos, Days of Wonder and Spring2Partners have already incorporated the Mobile Associates API. Animoca, the studio behind the game Thor: Lord of Storms, is now selling Thor action figures and other merchandise related to the popular Marvel Comics character.

The Mobile Associates API is an extension of Amazon Associates, a Web-based affiliate program that pays advertising fees to hundreds of thousands of affiliates worldwide. Developers can learn more about the program here.

Amazon Appstore for Android opened to U.S. consumers in March 2011 and has since rolled out to close to 200 international markets including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and China. The storefront promises a user experience rooted in the company's e-commerce and marketing expertise, highlighted by a series of automated marketing features extending Amazon's signature product recommendation engine to mobile software merchandising. Amazon has also introduced features like GameCircle, which supports Android multiplayer experiences like Achievements and Leaderboards.

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