Amazon has made a name for itself as a leader in online retail. It’s only fitting that when they developed the Kindle, they would use their existing marketplace to sell the device. The Kindle has no doubt been very successful at penetrating the eReader market, but a new report from Forrester Research suggests that Amazon’s online home may cripple Kindle sales in the future.
Forrester argues that the Kindles success thus far has been due to the consuming practices of early adopters. eReaders are still in relative infancy and have yet to be accepted by the world at large. Consumes who have bought readers are those who jump onto the newest technology, a group that is already prone to do much of its shopping online.
The next big wave of eReader purchases, according to Forrester, isn’t going to come from people who are less likely to do the majority of their shopping online. If Amazon doesn’t start putting the Kindle in more traditional retail outlets, their lead in the eReader market could dwindle.
I think the report does have a point. When someone walks into a Borders store, they see a Sony Reader on display. Soon, Barnes & Noble stores will be showcasing display units of the Plastic Logic Reader. With the Kindle being sold only on Amazon.com, it’s impossible for a potential customer to simply stumble upon a display model. Think of your mother buying an eReader and you will see what kind of a difference this makes.
I’ve already pointed out in the past that airports may be a great place to sell Kindles as you can immediately start downloading books to read for your journey.