Amazon makes a move on mobile commerce with its own virtual currency

Amazon - Mobile CommerceAmazon aims to set itself apart in the mobile commerce field

Amazon is beginning to feel the weight of mounting competition in the field of online retail. Competition is beginning to heat up as more companies begin embracing mobile commerce for the sake of consumers that rely heavily on smartphones and tablets. Amazon is among the earliest adopters of mobile commerce as its position as an online retailer made the company well suited to meet the needs of mobile consumers. With competition from other retailers, however, Amazon has moved to set itself apart from other companies and has introduced its own virtual currency.

Amazon Coins could be an effective mobile commerce and loyalty tool

Virtual currency is not particularly popular with consumers. This type of currency is most often seen in the world of gaming, where consumers can purchase and use this currency to unlock additional content in the games they enjoy. In retail, virtual currency is somewhat rare as most retailers are content with handling actual money. Virtual currencies are not typically associated with mobile commerce as these currencies are not often associated with mobile platforms of any kind. Amazon believes that its virtual currency, called Amazon Coins, could be quite effective at capturing the loyalty of consumers, especially those interested in mobile commerce, as these Coins can only be used to purchase products through Amazon.

Coins can be used to purchase products from the Appstore

Those interested in using Amazon’s new currency must first purchase the Coins from the company. For 500 Coins, consumers will have to pay $5. The Coins can be used to purchase anything from the Amazon Appstore and are exclusive to Kindle Fire tablets. As such, the Coins are somewhat exclusive, catering to a niche market comprised of those with Kindle Fire devices. While the Kindle Fire has proven to be very popular, Amazon does not expect that the device is so popular that it would encourage consumers to purchase Coins. So, Amazon has decided to give away its Coins for free.

Amazon gives Coins away for free

This week, Amazon has deposited 500 Coins into the accounts of every Kindle Fire user. Amazon expects that the Coins will be well received among consumers as they can be used to purchase a multitude of applications, mobile games, music, and e-books from the Appstore. Moreover, items purchased using Coins typically receive a 10% discount, making the virtual currency more alluring for Kindle Fire users. Whether the Coins will succeed in helping Amazon establish a stronger presence in mobile commerce has yet to be seen.

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