Amazon Offers Consumers a Way Out of Stores
Amazon.com wants you to comparison shop. And it really wants you to do so
when you’re walking the aisles of its brick and mortar competitors.
Yesterday, Amazon introduced a new price comparison app for the iPhone. The
app provides prices from Amazon and other online merchants when consumers scan
in a barcode, take a photo of an item, or speak or type in the name of a product.
Amazon customers then have the ability, if the price is right, to purchase
the item on-the-spot using one-click.
"This app makes it incredibly easy to quickly compare prices on millions
of items before making a purchase," said Sam Hall, director of Amazon
Mobile, in a press release. "We’ve worked hard to have low prices at Amazon,
and we like it when customers comparison shop so they know they’re getting
a good deal.
Dave Sikora, CEO at Digby, told Bloomberg News, "If you’re a pure-play
e-commerce company, you want people to go to these stores and pull out their
app and get a better price. The retailers are an off-balance-sheet showroom
for those guys."
"This isn’t the first time you’ve gotten a retailer trying to get in
front of another retailer’s customers," Blake Scholl, co-founder of Kima
Labs, told Bloomberg. "It just hasn’t happened in the store before."
However, according to a report in Online Media Daily, the Amazon app is more
limited than Red Laser, one of the hottest apps on the market, which allows
comparison to a broad range of online and physical merchants. The Amazon app
essentially does a price check of the product in the store the consumer is
shopping to Amazon’s own network of online merchants.
The new Amazon app for iPhone is available for free on the iPhone App Store.
Discussion Questions: With this price comparison strategy from Amazon and
other mobile app developers, what counter-measures can brick ‘n mortar and
multi-channel retailers take? Do you see anything healthy coming of more
concentration on price comparison in the multi-channel marketplace?
- Amazon.com Targets In-Store Buyers With Price-Comparison Tools – Bloomberg
- Price Check by Amazon App Now Available for iPhone – Amazon.com/Business
- Amazon Price Comparison App Aims At Brick-and-Mortar Stores – Online Media Daily