Walmart is taking a new initiative to remain in the competition with Amazon Kindle as the company is expanding its boundaries into the market with eBooks and Audiobook stores with the collaboration of its Japanese company and partner Rakuten. Rakuten, Inc. is a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo, which owns a Canadian e-reader and books brand Kobo since 2011, collaborated with the Walmart this January to distribute Kobo e-readers, e-books, and journals in the US. Kobo comes with pre-loaded software for purchasing digital eBooks.
Back in January, both the company agreed to sign a contract for taking the partnership one step further by launching their mutual store operated by Walmart also known as “Walmart eBooks”.
The Walmart eBooks store holds more than 6 million eBooks with cheap monthly subscription service for Audiobooks. In order to eliminate the Audible customers, Walmart’s kept their audiobook subscription cost as low as $9.99 a month as compared to Audible’s subscription of $14.95, as mentioned in an article by TechCrunch.
In addition to the introduction of the eBook library, Walmart and Kobo branding applications also released for Android and iOS today. By this way, users can access titles without a traditional Kobo e-reader, similarly like you can access all books and title of Amazon books store in Kindle software.
This is an open question to everyone, whether any of this initiative by the two companies will be able to slice away Amazon’s hold over the e-book market, with Kindle covering more than 80 percent of all US market sales. Although it’s less about entering into the e-book market as most of their buyers buy a complete alternative to Amazon in their departmental stores such as large boxes of bricks, mortars, and furniture.
As we all know, both the companies have different customer bases, but that’s common in this changing digital era as Amazon also expanded its boundaries with groceries, thanks to its wide choice of products and fastest delivery methods.
Walmart was forced years later to compete in new markets, began building dynamic partnerships with technology companies and turning everything from an Amazon Prime competitor into a strong caterer network. With Kobo, Walmart sees a chance to market an alternative to the Kindle. We’ll have to wait and see if the retailer and its Japanese partner can dominate Kindle stores.