Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 7, 2011
Brick-and-mortar retailers take note: Amazon wants shoppers to use your store as a showroom, then buy the same products via its website. It’s offering up to $15 in discounts to people who use its price comparison app on their mobile devices this Saturday.
Danielle Kucera explains how the promotion works in a recent post over on our Tech Beat blog: “The app, called Price Check, allows shoppers to look up Amazon’s prices by scanning physical products at a store using their phones. … In addition to scanning a bar code, users search for a product by taking a photo, saying its name or typing it into the application’s search engine. Customers who download the app and enable the location feature will see an additional 5 percent discount of up to $5 on Amazon’s products…”
Unsurprisingly, the advocacy group American Independent Business Alliance isn’t thrilled with the promotion. Co-founder Jeff Milchen likens it to espionage in a post on AMIBA’s site titled “Amazon Inc. Hits a New Low: Recruits Customers to Spy on Competitors.”
From his post:
For Amazon, it’s a scheme to get more people downloading its bar code scanning application, collect intelligence on what local stores are charging for a wide range of products (without creating a single job) and drive up sales. Amazon asks users to input the price of the item while their location tracking is enabled, stating, “With every in-store price you share, you help ensure our prices remain competitive for our customers.”