Amazon has launched a new app across all smartphone platforms that allows shoppers to scan in product barcodes or take a photo, which then instantly delivers an online price comparison listing of the same items to the phone.
If cheaper products are found, then they can be bought with a single click from Amazon while the consumer is in a rival’s shop, whether they are in a multiple grocer, out of town retail park or high street independent.
In the US, the launch of the app has led to criticism of Amazon effectively using rival retailers as its own showroom. A promotion that offered shoppers a 5% discount for one day on products they had found in conventional bricks and mortar stores that they then used online.
“The Price Check by Amazon app is primarily intended for customers who are comparing prices in major retail chain stores,” an Amazon spokesman has said. “The goal of the Price Check app is to make it as easy as possible for customers to access product information, pricing information, and customer reviews, just as they would on the Web, while shopping in a major retail chain store,” he said.
But there has been a backlash by smaller, independent retailers in the US, which sees Amazon’s move as an attack on their sales at a particularly difficult trading time.
In the run up to Christmas in the UK, Amazon has also extended its free Super Saver and Standard delivery options to Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 respectively.