Amazon.com may be planning to give small and mid-sized retailers Kindle tablets that act as a checkout system.
This plan could come to fruition by this summer or it could be scrapped altogether, according to a report from Wall Street Journal which quotes unnamed sources for the information. The plan likely would target small retailers that don’t have a complex or expensive checkout system already in place.
Several acquisitions Amazon made last year point to the possibility the online retailer wants to get into brick-and-mortar retail, various news sources indicate. Amazon also hired engineers away from GoPago Inc., a start-up company that offered checkout services through a smartphone app, the Wall Street Journal also suggests.
If Amazon does proceed with a plan to put Kindle tablet-based register systems in brick-and-mortar retail businesses, it would be joining an increasingly busy market. Square Inc. offers the Square Register to businesses as an alternative to the traditional cash register. Square Register uses an iPad or tablet that’s connected to a credit card reader to process transactions.
Though Amazon leads in online retail sales, about 90 percent of all retail sales are still conducted at traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. If Kindle register devices start appearing in traditional retail environments, Amazon could begin to have access to the data of millions of other customers. A Los Angeles Times report suggests that Amazon has already compiled information on consumers through the 230 million credit cards it has processed through online sales.
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