Looking to supplement sales of the new Kindle line, including the Kindle Fire, Amazon has announced deals with offline retailers Best Buy and office supply giant Staples. The question: why now? Why start selling your product offline when it was already the most recognizable brand in the e-reader market.
Kindle owns the market when it comes to e-readers. Research firm IDC estimates that Kindle owns 51.7-percent of the e-reader marketshare. The Nook is second; owning 21.2-percent of the market.
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5.4 million units were sold between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011, which shows growth of 167-percent. So, when you own the market, and project phenomenal growth, why move into the offline world. The simple answer? More.
Leading Wall Street analysts predict 15 million Kindle Fire sales by 2013, which is a aggressive to say the least. Reaching these targets becomes much simpler by bringing your product to the people.
Industry insiders have a name for those that won't buy online. The "40-percent obstacle" is an estimate of the total percent of purchasers that refuse to purchase anything online. The top reason for not shopping online cited in the Retail Forward study was the 41-percent who claimed they "Prefer in-store personal interaction." Seventy-two-percent of all customers polled said they prefer to buy electronic devices in a store, rather than online.
These numbers look like the industry leader in e-readers is making a wise decision in offering their product offline. Even if you throw the numbers out the window, the Kindle Fire begs to be test-driven by interested parties, or those that don't even know that they are interested in an e-reader.
Showing off a gadget is best done by demo'ing the features to people who might not have realized they were interested before seeing it. Offline retailers certainly won't hurt the online juggernaut.