In-app purchases have been paying off for developers. They provide a middle ground between offering software at a premium price and free but ad-filled apps and games. Amazon is looking to expand the ability to monetize apps by taking in-app purchases to the next level. Using their unique position as both a retailer of digital and physical goods, the company announced alongside its new Kindle Fire lineup the ability for devs to sell physical goods using their apps as a storefront.
To start, Activision will be peddling a line of toys within their game Skylanders, a console title with a mobile companion app. The game’s unique augmented reality experience that brings physical figures into the digital realm (toys are recognized by a “portal” connected the console and transmitted into the game) means players will be seeking to expand their collection of characters to incorporate into the experience. An ideal testing ground for the feature, which incorporates Amazon’s one-click purchasing.
The ability to sell physical goods not only provides a chance to monetize apps further, but also differentiates what Amazon is offering compare to both Google and Apple. It does so in a way that should be appealing to both developers and mobile users.