9 Reasons Why Amazon Gets Physical

A few months ago, Amazon has opened its first brick and mortar bookstore, Amazon Books, in Seattle. A few hundreds more stores are expected nationwide in the months and years to come, retail experts said.

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Besides, Amazon has set-up an electronic pop-pup store in Westfield Mall in San Francisco, to showcase its new devices such as Echo, Fire Tablets or Fire TV Gateway, and allow visitors to get hands-on them and learn from the brand genius associates. Is Amazon on its way to open physical electronic stores as well ? Time will surely tell.

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WHAT LESSONS ARE TO BE DRAWN FROM AMAZON’S MOVE TOWARDS PHYSICAL STORES ?

  • If you expect bold, immersive and spectacular flagship stores, forget about it !

In contrast to the first Apple Stores, Amazon is unlikely to bring retail revolution in physical stores. Amazon Books just showcases 5,000 items on its shelves whereas Amazon website offers millions. As far as the shopper experience is concerned, Amazon Books does not bring magic. At first sight though.

A lot of bookstores around the world are visually much more exciting to shop in. A few examples are available HERE.

Anyway, what we like most in Amazon Books is that books are the very heroes of the shop. Every book is faced out, rather than be stacked tightly with only their spines showing. Really useful and convenient.

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  • From a stategic standpoint, physical stores are a powerful tool to increase Amazon global revenues. Here are 9 reasons why Amazon gets physical.
  • 1 – Physical bookstores will help Amazon attract bigger-name authors. What other publishers can offer that Amazon cannot is coveted placement in physical bookstores. Those tables you see in a bookstore when you first enter are hot properties in the world of book marketing. And Amazon can’t compete with that, until it gets its own bookstores.
  • 2 – One of Amazon’s secrets to customer service is that it accepts returns, no questions asked. Physical stores would make it easy for people to return products.
  • 3 – Amazon physical stores will be massive gateway drug products dealers. The Amazon devices are super compelling to anyone who tries one. The trouble is, there’s no way to try them unless you buy them. Retail stores will help. Each Amazon retail store will be much more than just a gateway drug to Amazon’s products. It will be a gateway drug where people will buy gateway drug products like the Echo.

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  • 4 – Retail locations will help Amazon win on delivery. Retail stores could double as product pickup locations, distribution warehouses and, eventually, drone airports from which products are flown to nearby homes and businesses.

Handout photo of an Amazon PrimeAir drone

  • 5 – It is an opportunity to set-up “outlet corners“. Stores could serve as “outlet” stores to sell returned merchandise, saving Amazon millions
  • 6 – It is an opportunity to attract new customers. The majority of all retail sales still happen in physical stores. Those real-world sales are Amazon’s growth opportunity.
  • 7 – It is an opportunity to enrich customers database. One way to get new customers is to get their credit card information and other personal details. Amazon can do that by offering killer deals in physical stores. Once Amazon has someone’s credit card, it will be able to remind that person later that buying more stuff is just a one-click deal now.
  • 8 – Physical Amazon stores can encourage and facilitate showrooming. Another way Amazon eviscerates traditional retailers is via the practice of showrooming. That’s where you go to a brick-and-mortar store and find the product you want but then buy it on Amazon – sometimes standing right there in the store, using Amazon’s mobile app. Once friendly salespeople from Amazon help you find,install and use the app, you will be able to showroom not only in an Amazon retail store but you can also continue showrooming in other stores.
  • 9 – A retail location acts as a sneaky reminder that Amazon can solve every shopping issue. An Amazon store in the mall reminds everyone that Amazon.com is the place where people can find anything and have it wrapped and delivered. Even if shoppers don’t enter the store, just seeing the store is a reminder that Amazon could be the solution to any shopping problems.

Let’s wrap it up. Amazon brick and mortar stores can be considered as the gateway to the “everything store”. They make it easier for the brand to attract new customers and make them loyal to the brand’s compelling products and services. What every store will make a day as a turnover does not really matter.