Amazon launches new salvo at retail stores, offers ‘Price Check’ bounty - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
Retailers have long worried about becoming a “showroom” for amazon.com , with consumers browsing in stores but buying online. Now a new app from Amazon suggests the reality could be even worse.
Amazon this week launched its “Price Check” app for iPhone and Android phones, which lets a shopper scan a bar code or take a picture of an item at a Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) — or a local bookstore — and match it against its own prices.
The information may benefit Amazon even more than the shopper. With one app, it transforms an army of smartphone users into its own market researchers, providing a constant (and virtually free) stream of data on competitive pricing.
In a one-day promotion on Saturday, the Seattle-based company will even give consumers up to $5 off products if they use the app.
The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon’s offer earlier this week, and reaction from the retail industry was swift.