Not enough has been said about the Amazon.com homepage redesign, which is a bit surprising to me. It’s one of the most visited site on the web and usually mayor design changes like this one have all the bloggers talking for weeks.
A few folks commented on Twitter about the minimalistic design approach, calling it “Swiss design”, but also lacking identity, which could be the definition of Swiss design.
Also so far the design only extends deeper into the site only across the header. Most other pages still look the same as before.
The logo is getting smaller with each iteration. This is either a design decision with ‘mobile in mind’ and or continuing the trend of becoming a mall, rather then just the world’s biggest store as Amazon billed itself in the late 90’s.
The Kindle and Amazon’s electronic offerings (read: media downloads) are now front and center of the page, which is a clear indication where Amazon expects the biggest returns.
(Even an advertisement is more prominently featured on the homepage then links to product pages, which is an interesting trend I have been watching for some time now.)
Physical items feel almost hidden from the page. Sure, Amazon sill sells them, but doesn’t it feel like they are not trying anymore? I wouldn’t be surprised if their ‘Prime’ shipping, along with cut-throat pricing is getting to them and delivering electronic content, media and even ads seem to provide more profit?
This tells me is that Amazon is increasingly trying to move their business to provide service offerings, ad placements and their own products (Kindles) which they sell at a loss in order to make money on electronic media delivery.
If I’d be a physical product purveyor who’s recently relied on Amazon to feature and sell their product I would start sensing the changing time and start my own shop, rather then relying on Amazon to deliver the sales. Clicks and downloads seem to be more of interest to them these days.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with this trend. Amazon can do as it pleases, pivoting is not a bad thing for a business. But if you recognize it early, you as customer, partner or competition can position yourself to take advantage of this.