Should Amazon Sell the Kindle in More Places?

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, 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.

12 thoughts on “Should Amazon Sell the Kindle in More Places?”

  1. Yes, Amazon definitely needs to get these out in stores. The Kindle needs more viability; and most people will need to see one in person before they’ll part with the amount of cash these things cost.

  2. I agree completely. They need to have these things in stores where people can see/feel/try them out. I think airports are a great idea.

  3. I would love to see them in campus books stores. Since these are owned by one or two companies anyway, that should be decently easy to negotiate without stepping on too many toes. Also, why not Best Buy?

  4. Amazon needs to have someplace that potential customers can see and touch the Kindle. I can’t say how many times I’ve been asked about my Kindle, and I know of several folks who have made the decision to purchase after seeing and looking at mine.

    There are a lot of people who are not going to spend $299 on a Kindle unless they can experience it before they buy. Airport kiosks are good, but what about a deal with someplace like BestBuy?

  5. I would never have bought a kindle had I not run into the clerk at my local car repair place reading one. I saw the screen and the form factor and was blown away. I figured it was going to be something like a netbook turned on its side.

    The only thing I’m not sure about is it seems to me that a Kindle (or any ereader) is primarily a reader’s device. I can’t see someone casually grabbing one at Best Buy. They’re best sold to people who are already readers and it looks like every major book chain is going for their own largely proprietary device.

    I think Amazon is in the best position with this as they’re the store most associated with technology and books. However, I’m not sure that ereader stuff is really going to hit the big time until we have a device where we have a more open ability to easily shop from multiple vendors. (Easily is the key. I know I can do stuff to get other vendors wares on the kindle. But its easier to just buy them from Amazon. It’s not like I can go to B&N and select Kindle as my device at checkout.)

  6. Having seen iPods available in airport vending machines, how can Amazon not be offering Kindles similarly. (Heck, the iPod would be useless unless you happened to have a laptop with you in the airport. At least the Kindle really could be useful right away as a stand-alone… assuming an existing Amazon account, that is.)

    Perhaps this is just a case of professional tunnel vision: Amazon doesn’t “do” brick and mortar, so they are ignoring the likely benefits?

  7. I would be very pleased if Amazon established in-store sites which could replace Kindle 2 batteries while you wait and handle returns/exchanges of defective units. Also, might buy a DX if I could try it out first.

  8. Perhaps they need to display in much larger and bolder print on their website: “Try a Kindle at no risk for 30 days, we even pay for postage both ways!” So far not many people have returned theirs. On the other hand, those that do get returned are sold as “refurbished” at a discount. With these things periodically going out of stock, I don’t think Amazon has an immediate problem.

  9. I had no problem ordering the Kindle and paying for shipping. However, now that a need a cover, I find that I have to pay more for shipping than the dang thing costs! Is there any retailer (especially airport type) that can pick up these accessories?

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