Amazon just announced that their Groupon-like local deals service—Amazon Local—will soon be coming to their ad-supported Kindles when the devices are idle. Smart, especially when you consider that the devices are already synced with your Amazon account and you won’t need to manually enter a credit card number for each purchase.
As I wrote previously, Amazon is unrivaled when it comes to making the buying process dangerously easy, and funneling consumers to their daily deals site demonstrates the company’s level of cohesion between their products.
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The ad-supported model launched earlier in May and has since gone on to become Amazon’s best-selling Kindle yet (though Amazon doesn’t disclose actual shipping numbers). It demonstrates a couple of things: First, for the most part, people don’t seem to mind ads as long as they’re getting a deal, and second, Amazon is probably onto something with their subsidized product model—something none of their competitors have yet copied or built upon. In the long term, it means they’re raking in more money from all the ads they’re selling.
“Since we introduced special offers and lowered the price of Kindle to $114 and Kindle 3G to $139 earlier this year, customer response has been overwhelmingly positive – these quickly became our bestselling Kindles,” writes Amazon Kindle director Jay Marine in a press release. “Customers tell us they love the new lower price for Kindle and the money-saving special offers that display when they aren’t reading.”
Amazon Local is now available in 44 locations, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Seattle. Using their dedicated e-reader to funnel their deals site gives them a powerful distribution stream that competitors like Groupon,
LivingSocial* or even Google Daily Deals just don’t have.
See the full press release here.
*edit 9/15/11: Amazon and LivingSocial actually possess a “strategic relationship” in the daily deals space.
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Chris Gayomali is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @chrigz, on Facebook, or on Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.