The Age of Amazon: Tablets, Social Media & High-Tech Pickup Lockers

For months, rumors have been circulating about Amazon potentially entering the tablet market. Thanks to TechCrunch author MG Siegler, we have now learned that the online retailer will definitely be offering the “Amazon Kindle,” and while he isn’t certain when the device will be available, he suspects “it will be on many people’s holiday wish-list this year.” Not only is Amazon gearing up to launch its new product, they’re beefing up social media marketing efforts, creating a new, tablet-friendly website and testing new high-tech pick up lockers at 7-Elevens in Seattle.

Let’s start with the biggest unofficial announcement of Amazon’s tablet – Siegler was lucky enough to get to play with a version of the full-color Amazon Kindle for an hour, and although he wasn’t permitted to take any photos, he did a great job of painting a verbal picture of what he believes to be “a big deal. Huge, potentially.” The 7-inch tablet has a capacitive, multi-touch screen and in addition to being the first Kindle with a full-color screen, it is also back-lit. The Amazon Kindle will cost just $250, and is still rumored to be released next month, with a larger, 10-inch model to follow next year. For more information on Sigeler’s experience with Amazon’s tablet, click here.

Even though Amazon is remaining tight-lipped about the release date of its tablet, we can get behind the October launch rumor, as the Wall Street Journal and other tech sites are reporting that a website redesign is being tested that is more tablet-friendly. The new site features “a less cluttered interface with fewer buttons and a bigger search box,” and “also pushes more digital goods–books, music, video and software–than the current one.” We suspect a launch date in the coming weeks.

In addition to Amazon’s tablet-related efforts, the company has hired a new director of social media, and plans to take on Zynga, the leader in social gaming (which is also preparing for an IPO). While it has been announced that Amazon is hiring developers and engineers to build a Social Games Group to rival Zynga, there hasn’t been any word on exactly what other social media initiatives the company will take on.

In addition to improving its interactive marketing and tablet device, Amazon is apparently testing high-tech storage lockers that will hold customer purchases at 7-Elevens in Seattle, according to The Daily. The online retailing giant aims to “bridge the gap between the conveniences of online shopping and in-store pickups.” If the lockers are successful in Seattle, the company may expand the project nationwide next summer.

Although Amazon has been monumentally successful in e-commerce, electronic books and reading devices and cloud computing, the company is just now realizing the importance of having a solid online marketing presence. If you haven’t taken advantage of the latest social tech trend, it’s never too late. Contact Blue Interactive Agency for all of your interactive needs, including Facebook marketing, Twitter marketing and more.