Update: Amazon has a program called Kindle Matchbook, but so far it’s a weak version of what I’m proposing below.
I read a lot of books. I mostly read audiobooks from Audible.com, because I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read–I have to combine my reading with other activities like exercise or commuting. But sometimes I need the print or Kindle version of a book, and there’s something that irks me just a bit about having to pay full price for two versions of a book. It makes me want to fight the system and not buy the second version. The only way I can be convinced to give in is if I absolutely have to have the second version.
Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. So here’s a thought. What if Amazon gave a discount on the second version of a book when a customer has already purchased another version? And what if that discount was limited to within one month of buying the first version?
You see, if I go to Amazon.com right now and navigate to the page of a book I’ve already purchased, I see this:
Amazon knows who I am. They know what I purchased, and when. They give me suggestions for other books I might like, based on my past purchases. They’ve got all the data they need to easily make my dream a reality. Here’s what it might look like.
1. Cannibalization. Sure, I’ve bought some books twice without a discount. If I had received a discount on those, Amazon would have been throwing money away. But how much are they losing right now by not giving me an incentive to buy more books twice? I don’t know, but they’ve got the data and the means to easily figure this out.
2. Profitability. What is the marginal cost of selling me a second book? I would think it can’t be much, especially if it’s a non-print version that requires no physical product or shipping. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe offering an extra 50% off would make selling the product unprofitable. Fine, make it a small discount. I have to assume Amazon’s margins on Kindle and Audible.com books are better than 10%, which is about the minimum a discount would need to be to give me any real incentive to buy it.
Mmm…I can’t see any other challenges. Can you?
I already buy a fair number of the books I read twice. How many more books would I buy twice if Amazon gave me a bit of a financial incentive? More. A LOT more.Liked it? Share it!