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Amazon revamps in-app menu for easier access, navigation

Amazon’s menu on its iPhone application has a new design to make it easier to use, including the ability to swipe left for easy access and a new settings section where users can easily see notifications from the online retailer.

Notifications are an increasingly important part of the app experience and giving them an easily accessible home ensures that users will not miss any special offers or other messages. Amazon has also put browsing history under a user’s account and recommendations on the homepage, reflecting how retailers continue to look for ways to make the app experience simpler and more intuitive.

“Regarding notification preferences, this is a good update for the app,” said Wes Chiang, sales director at GPShopper. “Amazon is not the first to do this but it is the largest retailer to make this update.

“This will drive customers’ expectation that all retailers should offer this feature in the future,” he said.

Swipe left
Amazon updated its iPhone app on July 26 with a new design for its menu that simplifies the menu by grouping items together. When users first open the app, they can swipe the left edge of the screen to open the menu. Previously, the menu dropped down when users tapped the icon.

There is a new settings section that includes sign out, notifications and the ability to change the country.

In the account section, users will find Subscribe & Save and their browsing history.

Recommendations appear on the home page.

Amazon also enabled support for Apple’s WKWebView, which reduces crash rates on both iPhone and iPad apps for a more stable experience.

Core use case
Messaging is increasingly a core use case for smartphones, whether users and communicating with friends or with the brands that they like to engage with.

Consumers who receive push notifications from shopping/coupon and health/fitness apps show higher engagement and spend more time within the app, according to Forrester Research.

In-app message centers are gaining traction for store sales promotions, discounts, customer service messages or to let customers know that new content is waiting for them.

Retailers are cottoning onto the importance of app messaging.

Earlier this year, Staples introduced push notifications to keep loyalty members up-to-date with available discounts, point balances and freebies by enabling app users to get notified once Staples Rewards become available (see story).

As the importance of messaging grows, retailers are also looking at opportunities to leverage beacons to trigger proximity messages and to reach users inside popular messaging apps via chatbots.

Mobile messaging is one of the mobile strategies likely to play a big role for retailers during this year’s back-to-school shopping season (see story).

“While this new menu requires more taps for a user to reach their intended category, it certainly offers a more clean, sleek look,” Mr. Chiang said.