Flow by Amazon

The Amazon iPhone app introduced a new feature called “Flow” on Thursday.  The idea behind the feature is to allow users of the Amazon app to shop more efficiently.  Amazon explained the app in a statement saying, “It allows customers to simply move their iPhone camera over multiple items while standing in their kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, identifying and purchasing most of their shopping list in seconds.”

Flow is free.  All you have to do, in order to utilize flow, is update your Amazon App.  Flow’s advertising intentions are to target shoppers who are looking for everyday, household items.  Flow makes shopping for mundane items an easier process.  Amazon introduced a similar app called “Snap It” several years ago but the process took longer.  An image was captured and had to be uploaded to Amazon through a separate process.

Salvador Rodriguez, a columnist for the Tribune, reported that the app has its flaws.  “In some instances, Flow could not recognize a product, such as a pack of gum…,” writes Rodriguez.  The way Flow works is it searches for logos on products in order to identify them.  Harry McCracken, a writer for Time, says, “When it got confused, it usually got the company right, but not the product.”

The simplicity of the feature could influence Amazon customers to purchase more than they typically would.  It makes shopping online painless, and customers won’t get as discouraged with the mundane process of buying items the customers needs.

Flow could set a new standard for online shopping.  Perhaps features like flow will be  the new normal for future online shopping.

 

by Bridget Devine

 

Resources

Rodriguez, S. (2014, February 7). Amazon Flow makes searching for items a breeze with an iPhone. chicagotribune.com. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-amazon-flow-searching-items-iphone-20140207,0,7445470.story

McCracken, H. (2014, February 5). Amazon’s iPhone App Uses Image Recognition to “See” Real-World Products You Want to Buy | TIME.com. Time. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from http://techland.time.com/2014/02/05/amazons-iphone-app-uses-image-recognition-to-see-real-world-products-you-want-to-buy/

3 thoughts on “Flow by Amazon

  1. This is very interesting because, as you said, this could make it much easier for the shopper to buy items they may ordinarily hold off on. I also find it interesting that the app targets online shoppers as well as repeat shoppers. What I mean by that is that the app only appeals to those doing their shopping online and those who are buying items they already own. Not sure how many people will fit into both categories.

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  2. I think that this is a really cool idea. I’m an avid online shopper and I think that it would be really cool to be able to take pictures of what you’re interested in. I also agree with the comment above that the app might have some issues because its targeted to such a specific market.

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  3. Very interesting idea. I wonder how effective it truly it is though. In addition, I agree with previous commenters on the concept that the audience is a very specific group of people that the broader public will feel as if the app is unnecessary. If they’re not careful on how they present the product it could come off as less helpful and more novelty.

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