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Amazon takes fifth place: 2009 Mobile Retailer of the Year

Online retail giant Amazon took fifth place in the competition for the 2009 Mobile Retailer of the Year award.

There were many worthy nominations, but after careful consideration Mobile Commerce Daily feels that this brand did an outstanding job in its mobile efforts. Here is a breakdown of Amazon’s work in the mobile space in 2009.

Mobile shopping
If anything, 2009 was a big year for Amazon.

In March, the company released its Kindle application for the iPhone and iPod touch, which is now available via the App Store in more than 60 countries (see story).

In April, Amazon launched its free shopping application for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry (see story).

In May, Amazon launched the Kindle DX, an eReader with wireless delivery, a 9.7-inch electronic paper display that is larger than the original Kindle, built-in PDF reader, auto-rotate capability and storage for up to 3,500 books.

Kindle DX is now available in more than 130 countries worldwide and offers more than 300,000 English-language books.

The eReader  runs on the same 3G wireless networks that mobile phones do. Amazon pays for the wireless service so that consumers can buy wirelessly without having to connect to WiFi or a fixed Internet line.

In July, the company debuted, a Web site offering mobile phones and service plans from AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

In August, a new book on digital branding was published that includes a 2D mobile bar code on its back cover that connects directly to the title’s page on Amazon’s mobile Web site.

“BrandDigital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World,” by branding expert Allen Adamson, is the first book to be sold in North America that includes an EZcode—a 2D bar code—to sell the title via the mobile device.

The ScanLife technology, powered by Scanbuy Inc., uses a camera phone to link directly to the product, where interested shoppers can buy the book from their phone using their existing Amazon account information (see story).

Amazon clicks
In October, Amazon rolled out a mobile payments service to provide developers, merchants and distributors of mobile applications an easy way to process payments from mobile devices and extend Amazon’s 1-Click checkout experience to their customers on mobile (see story).

Amazon customers can now also make purchases on third-party mobile sites without needing to set up separate payment accounts—they simply use the payment information in their existing Amazon accounts.

In November, mobile site performance monitoring service Gomez found that’s mobile commerce site was the best in terms of response time and availability (see story).

This past holiday season, Amazon used mobile to push its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

The Seattle-based retailer let consumers shop and buy via text this past Thanksgiving weekend, further proving that mobile is becoming an ideal companion to direct channels such as ecommerce, telephone and the catalog (see story).

All in all, Amazon continued to ramp up its mobile commerce initiatives and turned in a solid year.