New Amazon Mall Offers Space to All Comers

Industry giant Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) will unveil a new shopping center tomorrow that will allow any retailer, large or small, to pay a fee and market its wares from a personalized page within the Amazon.com site. The new center, to be known as “zShops,” is designed to help Amazon.com customers find everything on their shopping lists without ever having to leave the Amazon.com Web site.

Industry giant Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) will unveil a new shopping center tomorrow that will allow any retailer, large or small, to pay a fee and market its wares from a personalized page within the Amazon.com site. The new center, to be known as “zShops,” is designed to help Amazon.com customers find everything on their shopping lists without ever having to leave the Amazon.com Web site.

For small retailers, the benefit of such an arrangement is the opportunity to get started online without investing in their own Web sites and long-term hosting contracts. Amazon.com reportedly plans to charge its merchant tenants a monthly fee for multi-item retail space or a smaller fee to list one item for two weeks. When an item is sold, the merchant must pay Amazon.com a percentage of the selling price.

For large retailers, the benefit is an association with the Amazon.com name without having to forge a more costly marketing alliance. Whether Amazon.com will be welcoming of its direct competitors — particularly booksellers Borders.com and BarnesandNoble.com — could not be ascertained at press time.

For all merchants, zShops offers access to the heavy shopping traffic that Amazon.com consistently attracts. That traffic has resulted in more than 12 million customers for Amazon.com in its four-year existence and has made the company a fixture atop every list of top online retailers.

Expansion Mode

Drugstore.com, Pets.com, HomeGrocer.com and Gear.com are expected to be among the anchor tenants of zShops, as Amazon.com owns part of each of those companies. Through these investments and frequent alterations to its own Web site, Amazon.com has been in product expansion mode for nearly its entire existence. As it has become more widely recognized among Internet shoppers, the company has offered such e-commerce-friendly items as CDs, videos, toys, consumer electronics, auction items and, most recently, its own line of knapsacks.

“Amazon.com seeks to be the world’s most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online,” the company says. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos adds, “This is a win for customers who get bigger selection, a win for sellers who can now reach more than 12 million customers hassle-free, and a win for Amazon.com because we’re now an even better shopping destination. This is all about finding what you want and saving time and money.”

Indispensable Tools

Amazon.com will offer new shopping tenants two Web tools that it has developed to drive online sales. With its 1-Click payment service, Amazon.com will act as a sort of short-term banker for the merchants on its site. Through its “All Products Search” engine, Amazon.com gives merchants a way to satisfy customers who are unable to find what they are looking for in the Amazon.com online mall.

Through its 1-Click payment technology, Amazon.com will accept credit card payments from across the Amazon.com site. Amazon.com will charge the customer’s credit card and instantly notify the merchant via e-mail that payment has been made. Thus, the company can fulfill orders quickly without concern that they will not get paid. Amazon.com guarantees the transaction for both buyers and sellers.

The “All Products Search” searches the entire Internet for items on sale on the Web and returns the list to the shopper, with links to that site. The items are categorized as available at Amazon.com, Amazon.com zShops, Amazon.com Auctions or other online merchants.

Leave a Comment

Please sign in to post or reply to a comment. New users create a free account.

LinuxInsider Channels