Prime Now

The good bits:

  • Amazon’s Prime Now app has a focused first time user experience. Upon the user’s first entry, the app asks him to provide his zip code and does a quick check to see if the service is available in his area. If it is, the user can enter the browse/search experience. If it is not, the app allows this new user to browse offerings in other cities or get notified when the service does become locally available. The app does not waste a user’s time with front-loaded introductory movies or slideshows, which would especially be annoying if it turned out the service wasn’t available locally.
  • The app has a free sample approach for new users. The new user can browse listings, search and add items to his cart as a guest. This demonstrates to new customers the breadth of Prime Now’s offering and is more effective than showing a video or introductory slideshow.
  • The Prime Now app further educates new users with the use of inline cues, interweaving text about delivery windows and product counts alongside listings. Any other forms of guidance would feel heavy handed for an e-commerce app focused on quick shipping and delivery.

To be improved:

  • The app forces a user to create or have an account in order to be notified when the service becomes available in his area. Instead, the product should consider letting an interested person provide his email address for the notification if he doesn’t yet have an Amazon account. Prime Now could be this person’s first touch point with Amazon, and the service could be what convinces him to create an account. Until he gets an opportunity to use the service, the new user may be put off by being asked to create an account, especially because he won’t know in advance if this service will ever be made available for him. Creating an account is akin to paying (with one’s personal info as the form of currency), and this new user may not be willing to “pay” for something he’s not guaranteed to receive.