I have never thought of Kindle as a lead generator per se, but it does generate a lot of sales for Amazon when it comes to e-books. Amazon started as a book retailer, and it still considers selling books a significant part of its business models. The store has been expanded a thousand folds in the past few years, but books are still very close to Jeff Bezos heart. Amazon Kindle is a cool gadget to own and a great way to save the environment and save money on books. But Amazon’s overall Kindle strategy goes beyond e-books.
It’s true that Amazon does make a lot of money with its Kindle and e-books. With Amazon Kindle, the company has a device that will keep making you coming back for more books. I don’t know too many people who are willing to pay $250 or close to $500 for a gadget just to let it sit on their desk. Those who argue that Amazon should give Kindle away for free, don’t take into account Amazon’s overall strategy for Kindle. Having to pay for Kindle almost makes consumers go out of their way to buy e-books on Amazon just to realize the benefits of their investment in Amazon’s gadget.
Amazon’s strategy goes beyond e-books. Amazon has perfected the art of marketing and cross-selling and has been concentrating on data mining and behavioral marketing to increase its sales. So as soon as you log on to Amazon to browse through e-books, you are faced with thousands of items that you may be interested in buying as well. So as you see Amazon is not just focusing on e-books here, but rather driving leads to other parts of its site to increase its bottom line.
That’s essentially the difference between Amazon and some of its competitors. Companies such as Plastic Logic do not have a store Amazon to drive leads to. e-Book business is the biggest part of their business, so they don’t have anything to fall back on. I am not suggesting that Amazon created Kindle only to increase leads to its website, but there is no question that was part of Amazon’s overall strategy. That’s probably another reason why Amazon Kindle is here to stay.