No time to find the perfect gift? Gift cards are always a great option, but Amazon is hoping you'll choose to purchase Amazon Coins, their virtual currency, instead.
Those shopping in Amazon's app store now have the option to purchase Amazon Coins to give as gifts, according to a company announcement earlier today.
Customers choose a bundle package to purchase (available in bundles of 500, 1000, 2500, 5000, and 10,000) with each coin being worth a penny. Just as with an e-gift card, the recipient of the coins will receive an email detailing their gift. During the promotional period, which ends January 5, all coin bundles are being offered at a 10% discount.
Amazon is hoping those who shop their app store, by giving the gift of Amazon coins, will entice new app store customers who have never shopped there before. The promotion is similar to the promotion they ran prior to Thanksgiving for $79 per year Amazon Prime memberships, offering the option to give them as gifts.
The coins can be spent on items in the app store, and work just like actual money. So why sell the coins in the first place? It seems that some customers find it easier to stick to a budget each month when they're spending coins versus money. Instead of running up a credit card bill, customers can purchase a set amount of coins each month, using them until they run out.
Those who owned a Kindle tablet were treated to 500 free Amazon coins earlier this year, hoping they would prefer shopping the app store this way, and it appears to have worked. Since that initial promotion, Amazon says that “hundreds of millions” of Amazon Coins have been purchased.
What You Can Buy
Those who use Amazon Coins are able to purchase apps and make in-app purchases, and upon announcing this new promotion, they listed the top Amazon Coin purchases. The top five apps purchased with coins are Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Wheel of Fortune, Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled 2, and Scribblenauts Remix. It seems Minecraft fans are also virtual currency fans: the single most purchased app using Amazon Coins is Minecraft – Pocket Edition.
What is the most popular in-app purchase? Not surprisingly, people are buying more lives in Candy Crush Saga with their Amazon Coins. When Coins were first introduced, two apps tied for first app purchased – Jewel Legends: Tree of Life and Cut the Rope: Time Travel HD.
Slowly Building The Appstore
Games, apps, and in-app purchases are all you can buy with your Amazon Coins. Unfortunately, the Amazon Appstore doesn't offer as much as customers would like to see. There are over 100,000 apps available for download, including many top apps that people want.
They say that they work harder to ensure the apps are fully functional prior to offering them for sale. In this way, they know that the apps are safe and secure. It is Amazon's hope the use of Coins will entice app developers.