The broken iOS online commerce experience

Minor rant/niggle. The other day I remembered that I wanted to order the new book by Jeff JarvisPublic Parts. I was out and about, so I took out my iPhone, opened the Amazon app, and searched for the Kindle edition.

Of course, thanks to the changes Apple have made to the way in-app content is sold, with 30% of that sale going straight to them through iTunes, sellers like Amazon have decided to stop allowing digital content to be ordered in-app on the iOS platform. I can’t really blame them, although it’s interesting to see Microsoft rumoured to be following the now-established “30% App Store rule” for Metro apps Windows 8, with other content gatekeepers likely to follow suit, one would assume.

So I get a polite message telling me that rather than buying Jeff’s book, I can go ahead and add it to my wish list, change to the website via Safari (how many iOS users actually realise the browser is called “Safari”, incidentally?), and purchase it there.

The first thing the Amazon website wants to  do is entice me to download the Amazon App for iPhone. I’m using an iPhone, so why wouldn’t I want it? I smirk to myself and continue. It’s actually just as quick to repeat the product search on the website as it would have been to add the item to my wish list, find the wish list, and open the item.

Once it gets to the part where taking the money is involved, of course, Amazon have that just as well sorted as they ever did – one click and I am, as they say, done… well, apart from the part where the website assumed I wanted to book sent to my iPhone, since I was shopping from that device. Anyway… looking forward to reading Jeff’s new book on my Kindle later tomorrow!

No wonder Amazon want to just go out and build an all-in-one content and physical goods purchasing tablet.

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