Hack 58. Shop Amazon.com

This program allows you to search, add to cart, and purchase from your device.

Although you can access the Amazon.com site through your BlackBerry Brower, the interface is a little clunky. The WAP version has no images, so you can't see something before you purchase it. Also, as with a lot of WAP sites, it just doesn't feel like an easy-to-use application. The HTML version of the site is not very usable on a handheld device.

There is an excellent product called ShopEdge from a MAQ Software that makes shopping at Amazon.com a breeze. There are versions for BES and WAP users and, best of all, it's free.

There are convenient options for downloading ShopEdge over the air or through your USB cable using Desktop Manager and Application Loader. The over-the-air install is available at http://shop.edgeq.com, and the install for apploader is available at the following URL: http://www.edgeq.com/download.aspx?application=ShopEdge&platform=blackberry.

5.9.1. Search Amazon.com

The first time you run ShopEdge, it will ask you which version of the store you'd like to shop at (U.S., U.K., etc.), and then if you installed the WAP version, it will ask for your carrier information. Once you've configured it, searching Amazon.com is simple much easier than shopping via the HTML or WAP interface. The Search screen (shown in Figure 5-30) is clean and simple. Just like shopping at Amazon.com from your PC, you can search all products or refine your search to a specific category.

Figure 5-30. The ShopEdge Search screen

Once you've entered your keywords, click the trackwheel once to bring up the menu and choose Search. As the program searches for matches, a nice screen appears with a progress bar before the results (see Figure 5-31) are returned.

Figure 5-31. The Results page

Once you find an item in your results that you'd like more information on, click the trackwheel and choose Get Details from the menu. The Amazon.com image for the product appears on the Details page (Figure 5-32), along with the average customer rating, price, authors, and the availability status.

Figure 5-32. The Details page for an item at Amazon.com

5.9.2. Purchase an Item

There are a couple different ways to purchase an item you've found using ShopEdge. You can click the trackwheel and choose Buy Now on the menu. This spawns your default browser and sends you right to a stripped down Amazon.com page for the item, allowing you to purchase the item directly from your BlackBerry.

You can also add the item to your cart, which is stored within ShopEdge on your device. When you're ready to check out, you can choose to purchase the items in your cart directly from Amazon.com on your device by choosing the Transfer to Amazon option while viewing your cart.

If you prefer to purchase the items from your computer, there is a nifty option to email your cart to your email address. From the My Cart screen, choose the E-Mail Cart option from the menu, as shown in Figure 5-33.

Figure 5-33. The My Cart screen and options

The E-Mail Cart option sends an email to the address you've specified in the ShopEdge settings with a URL on Amazon.com. The email message will look similar to the following.

Dear Customer,
Please click on the URL provided below to complete your purchase:
Your cart contains the following items:
1) Google Hacks, 2nd Edition (Hacks)
In case of any enquires, please send an e-mail to products@maqsoftware.com
Thank you.
ShopEdge team - MAQ Software

When you click on the link, it will take you to Amazon.com and merge your ShopEdge cart with your Amazon.com cart. From there, you can purchase the items just as you would from your computer.

The observant Amazon.com geek will glance at the URL above and realize MAQ Software's revenue stream. Their Amazon.com Associate ID is embedded in the URL, meaning they'll get a kickback for every item ordered through their product. See Amazon Hacks for more details on the Amazon Associates program.

BlackBerry Hacks
Blackberry Hacks: Tips & Tools for Your Mobile Office
ISBN: 0596101155
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 164
Authors: Dave Mabe

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