I’ve just discovered Zoomii, the “real” online bookstore, and I can say that I’m fascinated. Zoomii allows you to browse the Amazon book collection like in a real bookstore i.e. “physically” classified by category on different shelves. Clicking on a cover pops up an ajaxified window with detailed information on the book (as provided by Amazon.)
The beauty of Zoomii is that it is just a novel frontend to Amazon. When you click on the “Checkout” button, the actual credit-card transaction takes places on Amazon’s website. According to me, this is the killer feature that will drive the masses to Zoomii.
One issue is that the Zoomii cart is not the same as the Amazon cart. More precisely, adding a book using Zoomii does not populate your normal Amazon cart. Rather, it adds the book to a special Zoomii cart which has to be paid separately. Try clicking on “Checkout” and you’ll understand.
Zoomii is in my opinion the kind of web application we’ll all take for granted in 2-3 years. I really need to get into that kind of thing before I’m labelled as being completely outdated. What is positive though is that Zoomii has been built by one person only, Chris Thiessen. There is some hope.
To be complete, I have to say that Zoomii makes its money through the Amazon Associates program. Each time one buys a book through Zoomii, Chris gets some money. Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with this economic model. In fact, this is also something that we all need to become accustomed to because this is how the (financial) world will work in the future.
Try Zoomii! I’m sure you’ll love it. I do.