Amazon’s Little E-Reader That Could (Become a Monster Cash Cow)

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What’s the best-selling, most-wished-for, most-gifted item on Amazon?

It’s gotta be one of the Twilight books. Or an iPod. Or maybe this year’s Cabbage Patch Kid / Tickle Me Elmo / Furby – the Zhu Zhu Pet.

Nope.

It’s Amazon’s own black-and-white electronic reading device: Kindle.

The Kindle currently sells for $260, which is a lot considering that for $40 more you can get 1 of 17 fully-functional netbooks at another part of the store.

So how in the world does this happen? How can they outsell every single other product (all 51,255,815 of them) with a $260 glorified paperback?

Here’s how:

Genius use of prime real estate

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Amazon has had the Kindle front and center on their homepage for months. At about 70 million monthly unique visitors, that’s a lot of eyeballs seeing that shiny new product. With that level of exposure the word can travel pretty quickly.

Amazon knew that the product they highlight at the top of the homepage will automatically jump in sales. They benefit a ton from putting the Kindle there for a couple reasons:

  • Bigger profits: they make it and sell it
  • High price point: probably means high margin and you’ll reach influencers first
  • Recurring revenue streams: you need to continuously buy books to use it

This also makes it easy for curious people to find what they’re looking for. If you know that Amazon sells the Kindle and you go to amazon.com, you see the Kindle immediately.

A book for a landing page

Ancient book

The Kindle product page is long. Really long. There’s a ton of text, video and images to show off the product and answer of the customers’ questions.

Since they obviously don’t have a sales staff selling these things they turn the product page into the salesman. You see a list of all the features and benefits, tons of product shots, and videos of the Kindle in use.

Throw in stock photos depicting your target market (educated middle-class females) and you’re golden.

Great brand strategy

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Amazon’s in a unique position because they’re a mega-powerful company that’s made a name selling other people’s things.

The Kindle is their pride and joy and they can devote a lot of time an energy into making it succeed. This gives them a nimble advantage over similar products from big electronics manufacturers, like Sony and their Reader which is lost in the fray of big-screen TV’s and Blu-Ray players.

Amazon poured its core brand into the Kindle: fast, easy and full of everything.

So the next time you launch a product, take a page from an Amazon’s (e-)book and go all out.