It is no secret that we can get many of the consumer goods we are looking for at Amazon for a much lower price point than most brick-and-mortar stores can offer. In fact I personally did almost all my Christmas shopping online this year, and Amazon was the main source of these online purchases.
Still, there is no denying that brick-and-mortar stores still have a certain appeal for customers who either want it now (without waiting for shipping), or want to try it and see it, in store.
Both in-store and online models have their positives and negatives, but recently many brick-and-mortar stores have gone so far as to start a campaign against Amazon.
Many of the businesses involved in trying to get users to boycott Amazon have notably been smaller businesses and many of them bookstores, it seems.
So what has all these retailers up in arms? Amazon’s new price-check app for Android and iOS.
This is certainly not the only price-check app on the market, so why so much resentment and anger towards it from business owners?
First of all, Amazon is an online store and offers most of these products directly at a lower price. The second big reason is because apparently Amazon is offering a 5% discount on any item that is first scanned at retail location and then purchased instead through Amazon.
Not all retailers are looking at this new app as the Apocalypse for small businesses (after all, isn’t that Walmart?).
One such small business, Third Street Books in Oregon has decided to use the new app to its advantage. The book seller will offer a 15% discount on their purchase on Saturday, and include a $5 gift certificate to the store as well. The catch? You must prove you’ve canceled your Amazon account. Of course, nothing is really stopping someone from canceling the account and making a new one shortly after.
Amazon is in the business to make money, and while the price-check app might take a small portion of business from small businesses, I just don’t see it being a huge drain for these kind of stores since there are still many people who prefer traditional small businesses and ‘getting it now’. Still, I suppose for a smaller store any loss in sales could become a big problem.
In the long run though, if I owned a bookstore I would worry more about e-readers in general than Amazon’s price-checking app, but that’s just me.