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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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AmazonLocal, Meet Amazon Kindle

Anybody remember not too many months back when I speculated that the coming of the Kindle w/ Special Offers meant a strong possibility of an Amazon move against the Groupon dominated local offer business?  Yeah, I’m definitely taking full credit for the idea and feel that I am sure to be getting royalty checks any day now.  Well, maybe not…

Anyway, as was previously speculated would be the case, the popular ad-supported Kindle will now be playing host to a series of locale specific deals through the AmazonLocal program.  The AmazonLocal program, for those who have yet to get any information about it, is a local deals web service that offers customers as much as 75% off of various goods and services in their areas.  They launched it earlier this year, and have been spreading the service’s influence throughout the US.  So far, 44 locations across 15 states are covered and more are popping up all the time.  While it is separate from the Amazon owned LivingSocial deal site, many deals sourced through LivingSocial can be found in both places.

The initial Kindle deals will be limited to New York City customers.  Kindle owners in Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, and Brooklyn will get to take advantage of a few offers over the next couple weeks that should make the idea of ads on the Kindle even more attractive.  According to the recent press release, the first few big offers for New Yorkers will include:

  • $7 for a one-hour bike rental in Central Park ($15 value)
  • $5 for $10 at Dangerfield’s Comedy club
  • $59 for one month unlimited yoga classes at Bikram Yoga Grand Central ($180 value)
  • $5 for $10 worth of ice cream and ice cream cakes at Coldstone Creamery
  • $45 for lunch at City Winery ($98 value)

The major attraction of the Kindle integration with AmazonLocal will be the completely computer-free access to the service.  Not only will potential customers be able to encounter new deals as a matter of course without going out of their way, just by closing their books and glancing at the screensaver, but even the purchases will be taken care of.  Customers wanting to make the purchase offered through this program will be able to grab it through the eReader and present the redemption voucher as an item displayed on the screen to the business in question.

This functionality, while not yet a part of the Kindle experience, will be included in an upcoming software update.  Once again, it seems that devices that do not have the integrated Special Offers will be left out of the promotion, increasing the overall appeal of an ad supported eReader.  Given the unobtrusive nature of the advertisements while reading, and the value of the advertisements that have been and will soon be offered, it will be no surprise if the Kindle w/ Special Offers is appealing for far more than simply the associated price cut.  Should you be somebody who is both interested in the offers and uninterested in ads on your Kindle, make sure to check out www.AmazonLocal.com!

Can the Kindle Out-Deal Groupon?

I’ve been giving some thought to the implications of the still fairly new Kindle w/Special Offers as far as directed marketing goes, especially in light of the increasingly common speculation about Kindle Tablet PCs. The fact that this made such a splash, both in terms of controversy and in its success, only serves to emphasize the importance of the concept they are dealing with. It seems like Amazon is in a good position to capture the attention of huge numbers of deal seekers, and that there is some reason to believe that this is exactly their intent in the near future.

We know that people get excited about a good deal, even when it is on something they don’t necessarily need.  The site Groupon has become amazingly popular recently for providing exactly this sort of deal.  You sign up, log in, grab the deal of the day in your area, and likely end up making a purchase that would otherwise either have never occurred to you or been dismissed as wasteful.  They basically rely on the fact that they can localize the deals to the point where hundreds of communities have something interesting going on in their area at any given time.  It isn’t exactly a new concept, but it can be powerful when properly executed.

Amazon is in a position to take a swing at something like this from multiple angles at once.  The most obvious approach is through the newest Kindle.  You have to have an Amazon account to use it in the first place.  Amazon has, as a result, potentially detailed information about the purchasing habits of just about any of these customers and can use something along the lines of their recommendation system to personalize deals to individual tastes.  This is on top of the more widely ranging deal options.  Already we’ve seen things like the $20 Gift Card for $10, which you can’t really go wrong with but which also guarantees Amazon a sale that might not otherwise have taken place.  They also made the acquisition of popular deal of the day site Woot.com last June that offers a framework for even more impulsive buying opportunities.  All of this is in addition to the Gold Box Deals, sales, and otherwise plentiful discount opportunities to be found on any given day on the Amazon.com website itself.  There’s a lot going on here.

If at all possible, I expect to see this concept extended to the upcoming Kindle Tablet as part of the most basic experience of using the site, whether it focuses on media, app sales, or simply referrals.  The success of such an effort would be exactly the thing to allow Amazon to undercut the competition on purchase prices without putting themselves at a disadvantage.  While I don’t expect it will be nearly this amazing, I doubt anybody would mind getting the occasional special offer screensaver on their Kindle Tablet if it means that they get iPad-like functionality for less than the cost of a Nook Color.