Sources close to Amazon’s plans claim the online retailer has approached brick-and-mortar stores about offering mobile checkout stands. The system will allegedly include supplying retailers with Kindle tablets and credit card readers, competing directly with alternatives from Square and PayPal. Amazon’s purchase of GoPago Inc. last year was reportedly a precursor to the online giant’s upcoming service, though sources warned plans are “fluid,” meaning the project could be delayed or even canceled altogether.
Amazon will allegedly focus on small and mid-size retailers at first due to the complications of larger checkout systems already used at big-box stores. While Amazon is the reigning online U.S. e-commerce champ, The Wall Street Journal notes 90-percent of commerce is still conducted at physical retail stores. Amazon’s injection into stores would give it an “in” into the bigger world of commerce, opening up the possibility of mining data on consumer spending habits.
As part of Amazon’s pitch, the online retailer might thrown in other services, too, such as website development and data analysis, sources said. When you have Amazon, a company that has an enormous reputation and immense brand recognition, approaching you about new ventures, it could be difficult for small business to say no. And because Amazon has credit-card information for about 230 million users, the company could create a mobile wallet solution to help speed up the payment process. Think of it as a one-click method, but in physical retail locations.
Amazon has been laser-focused on meeting consumer needs as of late, announcing the possibility of using drones for delivery, while a previous rumor claimed the company could use “anticipatory shipping” in the future.