Amazon.com have launched a significant redesign for their home page – bringing digital content front and centre, and fading the physical goods into the background.
The old design – while clearly showcasing the flagship Kindle e-Reader, still makes it clear that there are such things as physical, paper books for sale here amidst the digital wonders and assorted other categories of physical goods.
As Amazon (with revenues of over $US34 billion last year) expanded, its core offering of paper-and-print books, delivered cheap and fast, started to be crowded out by the other goods. Whether sold directly by Amazon, or through the range of partners, the focus has moved away from print, and squarely towards “other”.
Lately, of course, “other” has largely meant “Kindle e-Reader” and associated eBooks. With the redesign, this move is accelerating considerably.
The new site – again, showcasing the Kindle, is cleaner, crisper, and unashamedly minimalist. It looks very much at home on a tablet – and will probably look outstanding on the soon-to-be-released Amazon tablet device.
The products listed on the front page will of course be driven by customer habits, but as Amazon.com focuses more on eBooks, and drives customers there, it seems likely that the dynamic content of “What customers are looking at right now” will reflect that.
Books, incidentally, do get a mention on the Amazon.com front page. Right down here in the footer. Sort of.
Conversions will likely take a hit in the next quarter while visitors get to grips with the major changes, but with plenty of time before Amazon’s traditional landmark fourth quarter, Christmas trading should follow the familiar pattern.
Ultimately, it’s not going to be a question of how pretty the design is, or how elegant the tablet experience is with the new Amazon design; it will be a question of the facts and figures, the metrics behind the scenes.
What will the new cleaner, leaner design do to the average order value, value per visitor, average time spent per visit, conversion percentage?
What will the new optimised-for-the-tablet model do to the overall revenue?
And of course, how this will all affect affiliates is another question…