Leaping over its previous all-time high, the stock of online bookseller Amazon.com (AMZN) jumped 20 percent today, after the company announced a new incentive in an effort to bolster its Web presence.
Amazon.com's stock ended the day at 36, up 6 points from yesterday's close of 30. Volume was heavy with 470,700 shares trading hands.
The company extended its Premium Associates program in which participating Web sites earn referral fees by recommending books. The top 500 sites rated by PC Meter are now eligible for a 50 percent bonus over the existing referral fees. Amazon.com currently has more than 15,000 participants in this program.
This initiative is an effort to drive traffic from participants? sites to the bookseller's site.
More than 400,000 titles will be eligible for a 22.5 percent referral fee, and Amazon.com's remaining 1.1 million in-print titles will be eligible for a 7.5 percent referral fee. The bonus will be paid on qualifying sales made between October 1, 1997, and March 31, 1998.
Under the terms of the program, established in July 1996, Web sites select books of interest to their visitors, add their own reviews and recommendations, and link directly to the Amazon.com catalog. Amazon.com then takes over to handle orders, customer service, and shipping, and sends weekly sales reports generated automatically via email.