Amazon’s Price Check App and the F-Commerce Ecosphere

Amazon Keeps Rolling On

Amazon recently launched an Android version of its Price Check mobile app, which allows smart phone users to scan an item in a brick-and-mortar store and receive a list of the best deals nearby and online. This certainly is nothing new in the mobile world, but the fact that Amazon has been heavily promoting the app has caused quite a stir. We recently discussed whether smartphones were a friend or foe, and I would have to imagine the answer for brick-and-mortars is now more than ever: foe. Not only did Amazon create an app that self-caters to their site, they even went as far as offering 5 percent discounts up to $5 this past weekend if shoppers purchased on Amazon after using the Price Check app.

Ken Sena, analyst at Evercore, said “Proximity, a defense of brick and mortar, matters less as shipping cost and time to delivery continues to shrink.” With Amazon’s already fast, and generally cheap shipping, this new app adds one more layer to the seemingly uphill battle brick-and-mortars are starting to face against online retailers. We have yet to hear how successful the weekend discounts were for Amazon, but Rachel Dragani of E-Commerce Times thinks this won’t be the last time Amazon uses such a strategy.


Introducing the F-Commerce Ecosphere

The “F-Commerce Ecosphere” has arrived. And a great article on GetElastic outlines the seven “dimensions” that drive the forces of F-commerce. Beyond utilizing an F-store, you can also take advantage of Facebook’s ads and sponsored stories, credits, mobile platform, places and location tab, open graph beta, and social plugins. If you still are trying to convince your boss that F-commerce has value, try this stat on for size: Zynga sells 38,000 virtual items every second and topped $575 million in revenue in 2010. Whoa. Those aren’t even real, tangible items being sold, but simply Facebook Credits. With numbers like that, it makes sense that social commerce is expected to reach $30 billion in the next five years. People are spending money on Facebook, and fast.

Another new feature that many businesses are sure to take advantage of is Open Graph Beta, which aims to shake things up a bit when it comes to the “Like,” “Share,” and “Recommend” buttons we’ve all grown so accustomed to. Now, you will be able to incorporate new verbs and nouns such as “I Like,” “I Want,” or “I Bought,” which changes the dynamic of these actions as they show up on Newsfeeds across the site.


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