At Amazon Books, only Prime members get the best price
Amazon Prime members are used to getting a slew of perks and discounts not available to Amazon users who don’t pay for the service. But the benefits of Prime membership have now been extended beyond the website to Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar venture.
Prime members shopping at Amazon Books, the e-tailer’s physical bookstore, will pay the same price that they would online while non-members will pay list price, according to GeekWire. This is a change from how things have been in the year since Amazon Books’ inception, when all customers shopping in-store got their books for the same price as on Amazon.com. All customers will still pay the online price on the in-store purchase of Amazon’s devices that are available in Amazon Books.
Whether customers will read this move as a bonus for Prime members, an incentive to join or punishment for those who don’t remains to be seen.
The in-store experience of the Seattle location has polled well with market researchers and some Yelp reviewers. However, it is worth noting that Yelp reviewers cited having the same low-prices in-store as on Amazon.com as a big plus for the brick-and-mortar location, as reported in RetailWire. Reviewers were also frustrated with the lack of prices appearing on books in-store.
Amazon has been making other inroads into physical retail. In September, the retailer began opening pop-up stores throughout the country to sell its devices, allowing customers to demo products with experts available in-store to help. The pop-up initiative is being handled by a different Amazon team than Amazon Books.
The company also reportedly has other standalone category stores in the offing. Amazon is working on a drive-up grocery store, and there is speculation that they are planning a convenience store format.
There is no word if Amazon is considering using the Prime brick-and-mortar pricing structure in other physical retail concepts.
- Amazon charges non-Prime members more at physical bookstores, hinting at new retail strategy – GeekWire
- Amazon Books is better than Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble – RetailWire
- Amazon to roll out pop-ups nationwide – RetailWire
- Will Amazon drive-up grocery stores disrupt food retailing? – RetailWire
- Will Amazon give new meaning to convenience stores? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How will Prime and non-Prime customers react to the variable pricing structure at Amazon Books? Do you see this pricing strategy as a good way to promote Prime? Does it have implications for other retailers’ loyalty programs?