Amazon has long been a needle in the side of brick-and-mortar retailers. And now, the Web giant has given competitors another reason to worry: a one-day deal which essentially offers consumers up to 15 bucks to ditch the mall, and do their shopping on Amazon instead.
Here's how it works: Use your iPhone or Android device to download the Amazon Price Check app. Wait until Saturday, Dec. 10. On Saturday, drive or walk or take the train to a retail store. Switch on the geo-location feature on Price Check. In the store, use the Price Check app to scan a product in one of the pertinent categories, including electronics, toys, music, sporting goods or DVDs. (Price Check also includes photo-recognition software, so you can snap a photo of the product, if you prefer.)
Repeat, up to three times. Exit store. You'll now have 24 hours to purchase those three products at a discount of up to $5 per product.
"The ability to check prices on your mobile phone when you’re in a physical retail store is changing the way people shop," Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile, said in a press release. "Price transparency means that you can save money on the products you want and that’s a great thing for customers. Price Check in-store deals are another incentive to shop smart this holiday season."
The deal is obviously a good one for consumers, who can save some real cash on holiday shopping – providing they don't mind trucking out to the store, heading back, and waiting for Amazon to ship the product. But as Chris Velazco writes at TechCrunch, the Price Check promotion is also a clear win for Amazon, not least because it could get a lot of people using the Price Check app.
"[It] could help potential buyers get over one of Amazon’s biggest stumbling blocks: experiencing the product," Velazco writes. "Reading reviews and looking at pictures online is enough in certain instances, but it can be a poor substitute for actually touching and seeing a product in person. With their Price Check promotion, Amazon can actually help people to make purchasing decisions and at the same time giving them an incentive to buy from them."