Amazon.com, already the biggest online retail company in the U.S., may be infiltrating brick-and-mortar stores very soon. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Amazon plans to offer a number of retailers a checkout system that uses Kindle tablets and Amazon-provided credit card readers in hopes to gain access to new data — specifically information regarding consumers’ in-store spending.
This new plan would put Amazon into direct competition with checkout systems like Square, a tiny device that retailers can connect to iPhones or iPads to accept credit card payments. Amazon’s equipment would be a much cheaper option for retailers than the corporate checkout systems that are frequently used, and Kindle tablets cost less than their Apple counterparts.
Before they jump on board with Amazon, retailers would have to commit to sharing their customers’ transaction data, but since 90 percent of all sales still take place in physical retail stores, Amazon is willing to offer merchants promotions and discounts in order to sweeten the deal, the WSJ says. Amazon did not immediately respond to our request for comment on the report.