New app compares Amazon price with indie bookshops

New app compares Amazon price with indie bookshops

Entrepreneur Will Cookson has developed an app which sends people to independent bookshops when they browse on the Amazon website.

Cookson, who describes himself as an entrepreneur and creative director, has invented Bookindy, an extension for the Google Chrome browser which, when downloaded, shows customers the price of the book they want to buy from their local indie bookshop alongside the Amazon price. 

Using information from Gardners’ Hive website, the app will also show online shoppers how far away their local bookshop is to them. 

On a blog on medium.com, Cookson, whose local indie is Dulwich Books, said: “I think we do care about local independent shops but we’ve turned into lazy, laptop-in-bed, impulse purchase type people, who crave convenience. If we are to buy from independent bookshops again, we’re not going to change our ways based on pangs of guilt or a sense of obligation. We demand something as convenient as Amazon. We demand something that gives us the choice of where to buy a book from with no extra effort.”

The app is marketed with the tagline “browse Amazon, buy independent.”

Cookson said that while building Bookindy, he found Amazon wasn’t always cheaper than local bookshops, books were sometimes out of stock on Amazon but in stock at local bookshops and that “direct price comparison of books becomes strangely addictive.”

He added: “I wanted to build something that doesn’t compete head-on with the Amazon machine, but embraces it, augments it and nudges you towards the local option to buy.”