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January 03, 2007
Endless.com: Amazon Busts Out of Its Brand
For the first time, Amazon.com has created a retail Web site that isn't branded Amazon. Endless.com, just out in beta, sells shoes and handbags, a hot area that Gap recently jumped into with PiperLime and that's populated by fast-growing successes such as Zappos. Not only can you not tell it's an Amazon site until you check out (and are given the option to log in with your Amazon username and password), but it has features not seen on Amazon, such as free overnight shipping, more useful search and browsing methods, and zoom-in capability on products.
Amazon says only that it saw an opportunity with shoes and handbags to target buyers who are very particular about how they buy these products: They want them fast, and they want to be able to browse them in a more interactive but fast way.
But I wonder if Amazon realized it may be bumping up against the limits of its brand. It bought Shopbop not long ago to sell more fashion-forward styles that shoppers might not think of Amazon selling. And off the retail path, it has recently created new sites such as NowNow and Askville, in addition to services like A9, Alexa, and IMDB that it acquired or created in recent years.
I wouldn't be surprised to see more such brands coming out of Amazon. In a world in which people find things to view and buy through search engines that send them all over the Web, it may be a better bet to create a bunch of brands than hope everyone will keep coming to one site for everything.
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? Mashups and Branding: Endless.com and eBay Express from Hitchhiker's Guide to 650
Yesterday, Amazon launched endless.com (coverage at techcrunch and techbeat). Obstensibly its an obvious response to the $1B that Zappos.com is taking in a year (close to 35% of the total shoe market) . But even more strategically, its an increasing... [Read More]
Tracked on January 5, 2007 04:48 PM
Interesting, like amazon as a strip mall, rather than superstore. You can park in front of the one you need instead of getting lost in one of those huge stores.
But what I don't get, is why hide the brand? Not so safe to buy from an unknown.
Posted by: dg at January 6, 2007 02:24 AM
Good luck to Amazon, but isn't one driver for Internet shopping a wider choice and infinite possibilities for "I-me-mine" niches? I just did a little test - using my odd-ball 10 AAA shoe size - and found 3 pairs of shoes on Endless - and 66 on Zappos.
Endless my foot!
Posted by: Maureen Rogers at January 7, 2007 05:37 PM