Amazon Wants To Win On Price, No Matter What It Costs

Is your client’s retail floor nothing more than a customer showroom for

For your sake and the sake of retailers on Main Street, I hope not. Yet, Amazon has its own ideas. Amazon also has a new smartphone app that encourages retail shoppers to compare prices while in the store.

“The ability to check prices on your mobile phone when you’re in a physical retail store is changing the way people shop,” said Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile. “Price transparency means that you can save money.”

According to BusinessWeek, retail shoppers can scan a bar code, search for a product by taking a photo, say the product’s name or type it into the application’s search engine. Customers who download the app and enable the location feature will see an additional five percent discount of up to $5 on three Amazon’s products for a $15 savings.

Jeff Milchen of American Independent Business Alliance is pissed. He says Amazon is “encouraging people to spy on local stores.”

“For storefront merchants, it’s an even bigger wad of spit in the eye than Amazon’s avoidance of sales tax collection duties,” Milchen argues.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. DAvid, I believe the real story here is Amazon localization. When one uses the App to send a price to Amazon, the company can adjust its prices for that item up or down, most likely up to slightly less than what you’d find in a store. More margin for Amazon. On the other hand, Amazon supports the collecting of State sales taxes..

    • Thanks for the update on the tax story, Dave. As for the localization, that’s what their opponent is calling spying. It is pretty clever of the Amazonians. They let their customers build out a great database of street level costs from retailers around the nation (for free!) and adjust one’s own prices accordingly. For the love of data…