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BizReport : Ecommerce : January 28, 2014

Amazon gets physical with Kindle Kiosks

King of e-commerce, Amazon, gets physical with vending machines that dispense e-readers, tablets and associated accessories.

by Helen Leggatt

There wasn't much fanfare surrounding the installation of so-called "Kindle Kiosks". Amazon chose a soft-launch of the vending machines. However, GeekWire writers came across just such a vending machine at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas which had been installed in time for the hugely-popular International Consumer Electronics Show.

While the kiosks will be placed in various locations, perhaps the most obvious is at travel hubs where consumers embarking on a long journey might feel in the impulse to kit themselves out with a reading device. The kiosks are made by Zoom Systems, which makes similar automated retail machines for Best Buy and other prominent brands.

However, one disadvantage of the vending machines over, say, pop-up malls that Amazon has previously trialed, is that purchases can't be tested in-the-hand before deciding on what to buy.

Furthermore, for the GeekWire writers who initially covered their discovery of a Kindle Kiosk the experience wasn't entirely smooth with an unresponsive interface that was sluggish at times. Another downside was that that purchase could not be linked to an existing Amazon account.

Check out GeekWire's article for images of the Kindle Kiosks. Have you spotted one on your travels?

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, physical store, vending machine

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