Amazon brings Yellow Pages to the 21st Century
Amazon today is after launching via it’s A9 search engine, a 21st century version of the Yellow Pages. Yellow page style listings now take a massive leap forward thanks to exhaustive work by Amazon. This new service allows Amazon customers to get local. Looking for a shoe store ? Type in “shoes” and Amazon will show you the showe store nearest to you, complete with picture of the store front and the ability to connect to the store via phone with the click of a button. The new “Block View” feature allows users to see storefronts and virtually walk up and down the streets of currently more than 10 U.S. cities using over 20 million photographs. You can see what stores are adjacent to the current listing, a map of the area to see what parking might be like and see are there any other shoe stores in the area.
“We’re doing something that has never been done before,” said Udi Manber, A9.com’s CEO in a video address on the A9 website this morning. “It’s like taking a virtual stroll around the block,” added Manber. “We believe this is going to expand the user experience significantly.”
Just like other Amazon product listings, user experience is a significant driver of sales. Users are able to read and contribute reviews of the stores as well as their own photos. Amazon customers can also leave notes for themselves on the listings so that they can come back to them later. The businesses too can submit photos and additional information and Amazon has mentioned potential premium services in regards to this. While reviews have only just begun, Amazon’s 44 million active customers will soon populate the A9 listings adding a massive amount of data about these businesses without any additional work from Amazon.
To get all these photos and block layouts A9.com used special trucks equipped with digital cameras, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, and proprietary software and hardware. A9.com drove tens of thousands of miles capturing images and matching them with businesses and the way they look from the street.
While these innovations are nothing new, the integration of all of them into Amazon’s existing service will make significant impact and eclipse the Froogle service offered by Google. This announcement is the second big search news item this week following on from the “Google Video” announcement earlier this week.
More information on A9 Yellow Pages
Amazon Video on Yellow Pages here: mms://wm.amazon.usa.speedera.net/wm.amazon.usa/upload/a9-yellow-pages-video-press-release-sm.wmv