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Bookstores might do better to worry about Prime Now than Amazon Books

11 February 2016

From Chris Meadows via TeleRead:

I just noticed something I didn’t expect, but honestly I probably should have.

I was noodling around with Amazon Prime Now, and happened to notice that it lists the same sale prices on Amazon devices as given in Amazon’s Valentine’s Day sale. The $40 Fire tablet, the $100 Paperwhite, and so on.

Probably not a surprise to anyone who orders from the service all that much, and it makes sense—just as Amazon sells things at the same online prices in its bookstore, it stands to reason it would sell them at the same price for local same-day delivery. It’s not going to be undersold by itself. Best of all, there’s no delivery charge unless you need it immediately. If you’re willing to wait a few hours, they’ll bring it by at no charge (apart from a delivery driver tip).

Of course, the vast majority of the country isn’t in an Amazon Prime Now delivery area yet—but it’s in at least twenty cities now and still expanding, whereas there’s just the one Amazon Books so far. And those urban areas that do have Prime Now can effectively take advantage of Amazon sale prices on some of its most popular items and get them within just a few hours, not a couple of days.

. . . .

Is it any wonder that local competitors are starting to lose their cool over the specter of Amazon’s bookstore? The surprising thing is that they don’t seem to be expressing the same concern over Amazon Prime Now, when it’s possible that could be an even greater threat. With Prime Now, you don’t even have to go to the store—instead, the store comes right to you, the same day you place the order. And Amazon doesn’t need to go to the trouble of setting up a new store for it, like it did in Seattle—it can use its existing warehouse facilities, which it already has all over the place to cut down on regional shipping times.

Link to the rest at TeleRead

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Amazon, Bookstores

6 Comments to “Bookstores might do better to worry about Prime Now than Amazon Books”

  1. The combination of an Amazon bookstore and Prime Now should have B&N in a panic.

    Imagine browsing the Amazon bookstore, but dang, they don’t have the book you want. Order it and get in a few days? Eh.

    But a helpful employee says, “Oh, if you’re a Prime member, we can order that for you and deliver it to your house in two hours.”

  2. Hoo haw! Just wait till the ADSers get ahold of this little tidbit and start running with it! 🙂

  3. Prime Now is a godsend.

    I was able, while suffering from a streaming cold, to order Kleenex, OTC meds, and comfort foods, all of which were delivered to my porch in a brown paper sack within ninety minutes. I opened the door just enough to grab the bag, slammed it, and staggered back to bed with my loot. I didn’t have to get dressed, I didn’t have to drive anywhere, and the prices I paid were about the same as they would have been in a local grocery store.

    As of now, all the books I buy — save those from two particular authors — are e-format. However, for those who still buy p-format, I would think the combination of Prime Now and POD would *kill* the bookstore experience.

    All hail the ‘Zon!

  4. Wait—what? We’re supposed to tip delivery drivers? I tip the pizza delivery guy because the job sucks, but USPS, UPS, FedEx? I thought these were decent jobs with benefits. Am I supposed to tip them? When I had surgery, I tried to tip the driver who delivered groceries from Safeway, but he refused it, so now I’m completely confused.

    • I don’t think all ‘zon delivery truck people are UPS, FedEx, or USPS. I live near DC which I think is one of the same day delivery locations and I see plain white vans toodling around with what looks like magnetic Amazon signs on the sides and back of the van. I can only guess it’s an independent contractor working with Amazon to deliver packages.

    • The Prime Now app actually has a space within its payment options for a driver tip. You can raise, lower, or even remove the tip after the fact, depending on how well the driver did or didn’t do.

      A Prime Now driver would probably be a low-paid drone a lot closer to a pizza delivery driver (or one of the delivery drivers for the various food delivery services that exist within cities) than a FedEx or UPS driver.

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