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Amazon makes its mobile app service available to other online retailers

Amazon wants rival retailers to use its mobile application platform to sell their products. While that sounds oddly altruistic for the biggest online retailer, the firm’s hope is that the ease of integration its app has with other services like Amazon Payments will encourage other retailers to use those services as well, earning Amazon a few pennies on transactions that otherwise would have gone elsewhere.

Amazon has been driving its ecommerce services for a while now, trying to get as many retailers on board with its various payment platforms and delivery systems. Having other retailers use its back-end application system for their own sales is just the latest stage in that endeavor.

If retailers do choose to become part of Amazon’s app family, they’ll have access to Amazon app pages that look like their own site. This could be great for smaller retailers that don’t have a decent app of their own, or don’t have one at all, but as The Information (via Endgadget) points out, larger retailers don’t have much of an incentive to join up with Amazon.

There are concerns among some about data retention, too. If Amazon funnels customers of other retailers through its back end, there’s a very real chance it could be recording data on those transactions. That would provideĀ a real value for Amazon, even if it makes no direct money on transactions.

There are a number of retailers, and customers, who wouldn’t like the privacy implications of that though, regardless of whether signing up to Amazon’s app is of benefit to them or not.

It’s worth noting, too, that some consumers deliberately buy from services other than Amazon for a variety of reasons, so they may not like learning that their favorite site utilizes any services from Amazon, regardless of how well integrated those services are.