Amazon.com: Wal-Mart of the Web, or Web 2.0?
Would someone help us figure out if Amazon.com is a Web 2.0 player or just the Wal-Mart of the Web? With the latest additions to its lineup -- groceries and DVDs of old TV shows -- it's looking more like the latter.
After beta-testing its grocery store in June, Amazon officially launched the store today with a $10-off promotion. The company claims to include a wide selection of natural or organic products among the more than 14,000 items it stocks, but its virtual shelves mostly carry nonperishables it can safely ship from its warehouses. The store may encourage more customers to sign up for Amazon Prime, the retailer's $99-a-year membership program that gives discounts on faster shipping. After all, who wants to wait for diapers and mac-and-cheese mix?
Amazon's other new retail venture is selling DVDs of old CBS news shows -- but there, it's applying some clever innovation. Shoppers can buy DVDs of entire shows, or select specific news segments and have Amazon subsidiary CustomFlix Labs burn a custom DVD for them.
We're not convinced that there's much of a demand for permanent copies of old CBS news segments -- but if do you want to make your own collection of "60 Minutes"'s greatest hits, have at it.
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