Gaining exposure through partner deals

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What would you give for customers' undivided attention?
What would you give for customers' undivided attention?

DMNews ran two different news stories today alone involving e-commerce partnership deals. E-commerce leader Amazon announced that Target will carry its Kindle e-reader device in stores beginning this weekend, starting in Florida and Minnesota locations as a test.

Separately, Visa announced it acquired e-commerce payment processor CyberSource for $2 billion in cash. Visa bought the electronic payment company to increase the use of Visa debit, prepaid and credit cards for online purchases and to accelerate the e-commerce industry's growth at large, according to a Visa statement.

The acquisition will also expand CyberSource's international business, according to the statement. Most of the company's revenues are earned in the US. CyberSource plays a role in processing 25% of all e-commerce dollars transacted in the US, according to Visa. It also counts British Airways, Home Depot, Facebook and Google as clients, according to a statement from Visa.

In both cases, these companies reached out to a leader in the market with a significant footprint in order to expose their products and services to more customers. And both did so by reaching beyond their own distribution channels and capabilities.

In Amazon's case, the Kindle e-reader Target distribution is a bid to compete against the Apple iPad, sold in Apple stores and at big box electronics retailer Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader. In fact, B&N announced just last week that it too would sell its product at Best Buy.

E-commerce and luxury retail sales outperformed all other retail and service categories in March, up 18.4% year-over-year. It was the category's eighth consecutive month of double-digit growth, healthy in this environment. In fact, just reported a 68% year-over-year increase in first quarter net income to $299 million. Despite these growth indicators, major companies like Visa and Amazon realize they need to continue to market their products and pair up with industry leaders to garner a greater share of increasingly competitive markets.

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