Amazon Threatened by Google’s Partnership with Barnes and Noble
By Precious Silva | August 29, 2014 1:59 AM EST
Two big forces have teamed up to try and dominate a very formidable adversary, - Amazon. Google and Barnes & Noble found it mutually beneficial to tackle a mutual competitor. As the saying goes, "the enemy of your enemy is your friend." In the tech industry, the rival of your rival is an ideal partner.
An Amazon representative shows off the 3D map features of the company's new Fire smartphone at the company's campus in Seattle, Washington June 18, 2014. Amazon.com Inc's new cellphone seeks to offer shoppers instant gratification by recognizing thousands of products, television shows and songs and allowing users to immediately buy them - on the e-commerce giant's own site, of course.
To beat Amazon at their own game, the first order of business of Google and Barnes & Noble is to give same-day delivery service to consumers according to The New York Times. While Amazon has pioneered same-day delivery service initially to only four cities, it now serves ten cities. Same-day delivery cost for prime customers are priced at only $5.99; however, others will be charged $9.98. Google is taking on a more aggressive approach. Google will give FREE same-day delivery to all its subscribers. Non-subscribers will have to pay $4.99 for the same service. The goal is to get loyal subscribers to use Google Shopping Express. Subscription will be free from the first six months. However, Google has yet to decide on what happens after the 6 months.
Barnes & Noble has been struggling with sales. In fact, the company has closed 63 stores in the past five years even within very busy cities like Manhattan. To try to taper off the losses, they launched their e-book called "Nook." However, it didn't really take off as expected. Earnings reports show that the sales of Nook declined by 22% during the last quarter of 2013 vs. the last quarter of 2012. As for Google, Amazon has undermined and threatened Google's advertising business. By partnering with Barnes & Noble, Google aims to get back the search engines profitable advertising enterprise. Barnes & Noble is a good addition to existing partners like Costco, Staples, Target and Walgreens.
According to the Street, as book retailers now found a way to fight over Amazon's dominance with Barnes and Noble delivering books quicker. This has gained the attention of consumers and investors alike. This still cannot tell whether book retailers can sustain the competition against online retailers like Amazon but it has been a considerable leap.
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