Amazon and GameStop have partnered to provide GameStop customers the opportunity to transfer their trade-in store credit into their online Amazon balance. GameStop is just the latest retail outlet to sign onto Amazon’s growing effort to expand its Amazon Cash program. Technically the announcement has yet to be officially revealed, as the details leaked via GameStop employees, but the program is planned to go live starting June 7.
GameStop is marketing this partnership as a way to drive digital sales, though the company also believes it could lead to increased in-store traffic. Here’s part of the message provided to GameStop’s stores:
“The added store traffic driven by this program is sure to help increase digital sales and the potential for guests to purchase other products in your store.”
The program is extremely simple. Amazon customers are able to log into their accounts, where they’ll be able to access an Amazon Cash barcode. This barcode can either be printed out or accessed via a mobile device. Customers then are able to take that barcode into retailers, for instance GameStop, where they can load their account with cash or GameStop store credit from trade-ins.
The first question many people will likely have is whether there’s then a way to use Amazon Cash at GameStop, but the answer for now is unclear. As has been the case for some time now, Amazon customers can purchase GameStop gift cards digitally and receive a code for use immediately. That means that it’s already easy to use Amazon Cash to make purchases at GameStop. But then GameStop customers have typically been able to purchase Amazon gift cards too, so the only real change is a shift towards digital transactions.
That isn’t the only question people might have, though. Another might be: “What is GameStop thinking?” After all, Amazon is a direct competitor to GameStop in many ways, some of which are hurting GameStop’s retail business.
For instance, Amazon accepts game and console trade-ins, often at rates competitive to if not better than GameStop. Amazon also sells new and used games, consoles and merchandise. By all appearances, this seems like GameStop is trying to funnel customers to spend their trade-in credit at Amazon rather than in-store.
There’s always the chance that the full story hasn’t been shared yet. Perhaps Amazon is planning a change to allow Amazon Cash to be used directly as a currency in stores like GameStop. Or maybe Amazon is paying retailers like GameStop a hefty sum to allow for these Amazon Cash transactions. Whatever the case, this does seem to be a pro-consumer decision, giving GameStop trade-in customers more options than ever.