Amazon is partnering with even more universities to offer discounts on textbooks, one-day delivery and other services.
Amazon now has deals with three major institutions: the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Purdue and University of California Davis, reports the WSJ.
Since the program launched at Purdue last summer, not much has changed. Amazon will operate co-branded websites, selling textbooks, university apparel and most other items sold by the Seattle e-commerce giant. In addition, it will open up distribution centers on campus, where students can pick-up packages from lockers.
A list of bestsellers on the Purdue Student Store on Amazon shows that students are using the site to buy just about everything, ranging from scientific calculators to a variety of video games and household items, like Kleenex, toilet paper and disinfecting wipes.
In return for access to the students, Amazon is offering unlimited next-day delivery to campus for those who sign-up for a $49 Amazon Prime account, which is half as much as the rest of us pay. In addition, Amazon says students will save up to 30 percent on their textbooks.
When the Purdue announcement was first made, the school also confirmed that Amazon was returning a percentage of eligible sales to the university, but the WSJ dug up the specifics. It reports that Amazon will pay 0.5 to 2.5 percent for purchases made through the Purdue website, which will amount to roughly $1.45 million to UMass over three years and $1.7 million to Purdue over four years, according to the contracts.
Amazon’s interest in working with universities are two-fold. Clearly, capturing some of the $10.3 million spent annually in college bookstores will be a nice revenue stream, but equally important is getting students accustomed to using Amazon Prime. Recent research indicates that Amazon has roughly 40 million Amazon Prime members, who spend $1,500 a year on average, compared to non-members who spend about $625 a year.