Amazon has always had widgets of sorts with their ad placement tools. However, they have recently released a slew of new widgets that aims to generate more means to grab market share for themselves. There are currently 16 widgets available from Amazon. Check out their widgets page for the full list and to get your own Amazon widget.
The first thing they did right was allowing both affiliates and non-affiliates to use the widgets. Obviously if you are an affiliate you will benefit from that and if not, then you still get the benefit of added content. The variety of widgets driven off the Amazon product inventory range from videos, slideshows, favorites, wish lists to product links. Most site owners and bloggers should be able to find at least one that fits in well with their site content. The product catalog with reviews and ratings is a nice value add for just about any site. Couple that with the affiliate program and it’s an easy decision. We just have to wait to see how well the widgets and affiliate program performs.
Each widget has a nice set of configuration settings. You can set the size, color, product category, among others. The configuration pages are pretty well designed, easy to use and the final step provides code or auto inject into a handful of sites. Overall, it’s nicely done.
There are some things we would have liked to see. The ability to generate and grab a widget from the widget itself would be nice. For example, the Wish List widget (our version) would have been a good candidate for this. Understandably, this would not apply to every widget offered by Amazon.
While the system and widgets are a pretty good start, there are a few kinks here and there. Minor things like, when you look up a wish list by email address you are presented with multiple wish lists, but the lists are displayed with the owner’s name rather than the list name. So, you end up with John Doe, John Doe, John Doe, etc. and having to click through to actually know what list is what.
The Amazon widgets, while not perfect, are worth checking out.