In a quirky move, Amazon.com has launched their own independent shoe and handbag niche website, Endless.com. Shoes and handbags will still be available on Amazon.
Endless really hides the fact that Amazon owns them — you have to dig into their ‘About Us‘ page, and even then you won’t see Amazon.com’s logo. Amazon.com offers an API that allows etailers/developers to integrate customer reviews of Amazon.com products, but this isn’t even integrated into Endless — here is a shoe on Amazon.com with 9 customer reviews, but 0 reviews on Endless.com for the same shoe.
The only other noticeable Amazon associations are that the product images are hosted at Amazon.com and Endless is powered by Amazon.com, meaning you login with your Amazon account information.
The Endless website provides an enhanced browsing experience for shoe buying, compared to what Amazon.com does. For example, the visual search is real nice — you can keep refining your search by price, style, color, size, or brand. Endless.com’s search experience reminds me a bit of Like.com‘s browsing experience. Endless.com’s focus is on free overnight shipping — they have a countdown clock on every page letting you know the next delivery date.
The question is — did Amazon really need to launch an entirely new brand for this new shoes/handbags shopping experience? I understand people are use to the consistency of the standard Amazon.com shopping experience, but what about launching an enhanced shopping experience option in each product category on Amazon.com ? Or maybe Endless was launched with this focus on free overnight shipping and thus it’ll expand to carry as much from Amazon.com that would allow for free overnight delivery — however, the Endless logo clearly specifies shoes and handbags, so I doubt this will be the case.
Amazon.com has been diversifying their business lately into a variety of initiatives that seem to branch away from their core competency. Endless seems to be more in-line with their core — will it be the first of an endless list of niche websites they launch in an effort to improve (“web 2.0’ing”) the buying experience for each of their product lines?
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Steve Poland, a guest contributor.