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Amazon Fire: A Whole New Dimension For eCommerce?


Amazon has introduced the Fire phone and with it some incredible functionality.

In both an exciting and terrifying announcement for the eCommerce industry Amazon unveiled Firefly. Firefly has the ability to scan products using the device and then find that product on Amazon. But that’s not all, you can also scan art and be taken to a wiki page about the piece and you can scan music and films from your TV. Firefly you’ve blown my mind.

Complicated technology yet so incredibly simple. It recognises over 70 million products, including books, DVDs, CDs, video games and general household items. Either scan the product barcode or take a picture to find product details, buy the product straight away or save it to your Amazon wishlist for later.

Firefly essentially makes every product within touching distance a potential purchase.

Sure there are going to be hiccups; unavailable products, unrecognised products and clearly if you’ve not got the product to hand you can’t scan it, so the functionality is only useful in limited circumstances. But what’s really exciting about this is the idea, the possibilities, and how Firefly could evolve. Could this work for furniture? Clothes? Could the future of this technology see us scanning a PERSON and finding their entire outfit online to purchase?

Amazon have opened up the Firefly SDK to 3rd party apps but the focus remains around the Fire phone being deeply integrated into Amazon’s services. It will be interesting to see which of the technology giants will move in to creating this sort of functionality on their devices. It would be fantastic for this to be expanded and developed so that it could be plugged in to the likes of Google Shopping or Ebay.

Another aspect of Firefly is the potential for marketeers to be really inventive with marketing to Fire phone users. Imagine something as simple as sponsoring a high end hotel’s bathroom products, then placing a card stating: ‘Firefly any product in this room’. This could create the most minimal clicks customer journey; product, scan, buy.

The phone itself has an array of standard smartphone features and is currently only going to be available in the US for AT&T customers. Amazon have told us Brits to hold tight for the UK launch in a few months. You can read a full low down on all of the phone’s featuresĀ on the Amazon website.

In the meantime this is definitely one to watch!

Here’s CNET’s video of the live Firefly demonstration: