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Amazon expands m-commerce presence with app

25 November 2010 - 12:00 by David Aiken

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Amazon is continuing its all-out assault on the e-commerce market in the run up to Christmas and it has just opened up a new front with a mobile app that allows consumers to compare the prices of their favourite goods while they are on the move.

The app is designed for the iPhone and is also compatible with the iPod Touch so owners of either device can download it via the iTunes App Store and start comparing. It supports voice search and visual search to make safe shopping online easier to enjoy, particularly if you are a diehard bargain hunter who relishes low prices.

Amazon already has an m-commerce app but it does not attempt to compare the prices with rival retailers in such an obvious manner. The focus of the new app is notable because it is clearly designed to take on high street retail chains rather than just the web-based pretenders to Amazon's throne.

Amazon's m-commerce director, Sam Hall, said that millions of items are searchable and comparable using the new app, with everything from electronics to books and computer games housed in one simple to use software package.

Amazon is not the only e-commerce firm to be stepping up its efforts as Christmas approaches because eBay has also refreshed its iPhone app offerings this week, bringing extra functions including a barcode scanner which will let consumers find the best price on eBay when they are shopping on the high street.

eBay's mobile head, Steve Yankovich, said that his firm was well aware of the significant increase in the number of consumers who are using their mobiles to carry out safe shopping online. The rush to buy presents in whatever spare time is available is another contributing factor to the expansion of m-commerce.