AmazonLocal Now in 30 Markets
Should we be mentioning AmazonLocal in the same list of erstwhile “Groupon killers” as Facebook Deals, Google Offers, AT&T offers and others?
As the online retail giant launches its 30th local site — starting in Boise in June and now heading into NYC — we’re certainly watching carefully. What we’ve seen is that Amazon has assembled the building blocks very carefully, buying Woot, the electronics deal provider; investing $175 million in LivingSocial, which presumably gives it some syndication advantages and international play; and building in some very interesting and valuable network effects.
For instance, we like that Amazon automatically IDs your user name (and location). Like Facebook.
Moreover, you get extra points toward an Amazon gift certificate — 5, instead of 3 — when the Amazon credit card is used for buying local offers. There is even some potential advertising on the new edition of the Kindle that requires you to accept advertising in return for a subsidized price
Out of the box, AmazonLocal is relying on syndicated deals from the likes of LivingSocial and 6pm — a strategy also deployed by Facebook and New York Magazine. And it is adding some deals directly from the Amazon site, for watches and other goods (per Mashable).
We are, of course, expecting Amazon to be much more than a marketing channel. The company is apparently planning to hire a wide range of personnel in coming months and has been advertising job positions.
Of course, when it comes to a local offering, Amazon has stumbled before. The A9 directory, was well-executed, with an early version of street view. But ultimately, it was not supported by Amazon. Something tells us, however, that Amazon is going to dig deep with AmazonLocal. It seems to have made a strategic decision that it has to be part of the deals space, as it watches previously unrelated companies such as Google, Facebook and Groupon go for a leadership position.
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