Online retail behemoth Amazon recently launched, which offers a new way to browse through items from its main site.

Amazon Windowshop

Other than looking quite nice, does this new tool offer any extra value to Amazon’s shoppers? displays the latest releases and bestsellers each week, adding new products each Tuesday.

Shoppers can scroll through the items and zoom in and out using either the mouse or arrow keys and space bar, though keyboard is best here. Zooming in will prompt an audio description of the product or a song sample / movie trailer to be played:

Windowshopping trailer

Users can then click through to to buy the product or find out more details, read reviews etc.

The site is excellent visually, and unlike some other Flash based scrolling tools, such as Borders’ ‘Magic Shelf’ it is fast, and doesn’t delay users while new items load. 

I’m not sure how many people will use this over the normal Amazon site; the range of products is limited, it lacks the all important search option, while important product details, delivery charges etc are also missing.

I do like the idea of visual shopping sites though, Shopwave from Mpire and Browsegoods are two such examples, though neither works as smoothly as Amazon’s offering.

This kind of visual tool may be more suited to allowing shoppers to browse through goods where photos matter more, such as shoes and clothes.

Related stories:

Ten things Amazon can do better online

Amazon EC2 comes out of beta