Walmart are the new Kobo affiliate in Canada – Is the US next?
Kobo announced it yesterday, and it took me a while to confirm it. But it’s true.
But there are a few details worth noting. Some reports are saying that Walmart are selling ebooks; that’s not quite true. Walmart.ca won’t actually sell ebooks (like Borders). Instead it will provide a link to Kobo and get credit for sending you there (and probably get a commission).
Walmart.ca also do that with a number of different product categories. For example, the store page I’m looking at right now redirects "Digital Music" to songspark.ca and "Travel" redirects to a travel agency.
So far as I can tell Walmart don’t do anything like this in the US. But they might, and that would be interesting.
It looks like Kobo might already have Walmart lined up to replace Borders when they go under. Now wouldn’t that be a coup? Kobo would go from partnering with a struggling bookstore chain to partnering with the world’s biggest retailer.
image by I am I.A.M.
Mike Cane May 7, 2011 um 12:12 pm
That’s a hell of a coup. But WalMart’s digital efforts haven’t been exactly brain science, so one day I expect some dim bulb there to want to acquire Kobo. And that would be its doom.
Ian May 7, 2011 um 12:32 pm
I’m still waiting to see what Kobo does down here in Australia. They have to move soon ..
Nate Hoffelder May 7, 2011 um 2:25 pm
Maybe they’ll partner with Dymocks.
Fbone May 7, 2011 um 3:10 pm
Walmart US used to have their online book orders fulfilled by Barnes & Noble. I don’t see any reference to them anymore.
Alexander Inglis May 9, 2011 um 2:18 pm
Kobo set up a relationship with Walmart Canada shortly after its launch in May 2010 to sell its eReader … it was in place by early summer at the latest. Walmart Canada was selling Sony eReaders but has ditched them … they only sell the Kobo (via online catalog at least).
As far as I can see, the Walmart link to Kobo is simply a "courtesy" making Kobo a "Featured Partner". Walmart.ca has a number of these in various cateogries like flowers, travel, digital music downloads, photofinishing, etc. No doubt there is a "click through" commission but it ends there. I can’t see any way to capture a portion of a sale.
Kobo later pushed into Walmart in the US and its devices have been available there since late fall. However these days they are marked as clearance. Interestingly, the Nooks are featured prominently and Sony is limited to sell-off of the 300 series (none of the x50 Pearl ereaders are listed).