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Amazon Lures Shoppers Away from Stores with New App

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. 1207_smallbiz.jpg

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.”

Reader Comments

Heidi Pickman

December 9, 2011 4:59 PM

Tell Amazon's to stop $5 attack against small biz. SIGN PETITION!


December 10, 2011 3:06 AM

Easy for Amazon they do not have the expense of a store and staff and probably stock, so it is easy for them to discount its a no risk issue for Amazon. More of the me me way society is moving of late unfortunately. The world grows when we put in more than we pull out, vise verse and we are on a slow move towards extinction.

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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