A few weeks back I bought myself a new Amazon Kindle. Amazon have only recently opened this to the Australian market - my Kindle congratulated me for being one of the first in Australia to purchase, cool! One of the reasons I got this Kindle was to follow Julien Smith's suggestion of reading 52 books a year. That's 1 book a week starting this January 2010.
My experience with Amazon and the Kindle was second to none. The Kindle arrived from the US 4 days after my purchase. The Kindle came pre-registered with my Amazon account information so there was no need to re-register. Accessing the Amazon Kindle store and purchasing a book was simple. In a matter of a few seconds I am searching the store for a book to purchase. Purchasing is just as easy, with a couple of clicks the book is purchased and set to arrive within 60 seconds to my Kindle. This is a great business model for Amazon. I hardly ever purchase from Amazon due to shipping, and previously I would have much rather purchased from an Australian online retailer. Within the first 24 hours of owning my Kindle I had purchased some 10 or so books! This is business Amazon would never had received from me in the past.
I've recently read a couple of blogs about Hotels in the US providing their guests with a free Kindle for use while staying at the Hotel. This got me wondering if there were any Hotels or Resorts in Australia doing anything similar, but not surprisingly, I couldn't find any. So lets explore some benefits of offering a Kindle to guests while staying at your Hotel.
1. This is a clear point of difference. People are becoming more and more interested in new, cool and up to date technology. What will make a guest choose your hotel over another if the pricing is similar?
2. There is a chance that the guest may choose to stay in their apartment, by the pool, or at your on site restaurant or bar to read a book instead of hitting the beach or coffee shop outside of the resort. This could be encouraged by restricting the Kindle from leaving the Hotel. This will potentially lead to increased F&B revenue for the Hotel.
3. Newspapers can be delivered to the Kindle on a daily basis. This would remove the need to drop newspapers at the door.
4. This is a great customer experience that customers will share with their friends, family and colleagues!
Some things to consider:
1. All New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases are $11.99. There are over 100,000 books all priced under $5.99.
2. Kindle's ship with FREE access to the web via Whispernet. This is a 3G, EDGE/GPRS network. Downloading books from Amazon and accessing Wikipedia is free.
3. Some US Hotels offer a book of choice with their stay. The guest selects the book they wish to read prior to arrival so the book is already purchased and available on the Kindle at Check-In. What great customer service and experience.
4. Why not offer the guest the option to purchase books to be charged to their account? This is easy to do with Amazon itemized billing.
5. You could even offer the guest a credit to be applied against books for each night of stay.
Can you think of any other options or benefits?
You can purchase the Kindle at this (non affiliate) link.