US pure-play e-tail giant Amazon is extending its brand reach while also bidding to bolster its existing e-commerce sales by moving into bricks-and-mortar retailing. The brand has just opened its first physical flagship – Amazon Books – at the University Village Mall in its hometown of Seattle.
The foray into multi-channel retailing follows 2015 research by US analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers that reveals 86% of global consumers currently shop across at least two channels, with 80% conducting online research before they buy books in-store.
Shrewdly using its digital clout, Amazon's own e-commerce data and consumer insights are fuelling the physical store's product edit. Its 5,000-book inventory is based on online consumer reviews, ratings, sales and pre-orders, plus professional critics' reviews and books deemed popular on recommendation site Goodreads. Echoing their online presentation, all books are presented with their covers facing outwards, with their Amazon rating and review below.
In addition to books (which are priced the same across all channels), the store also retails Amazon gadgets including the Kindle e-reader, voice command product Echo, and Fire TV streaming device.
The store is also used as a click-and-collect hub for online Amazon consumers seeking a physical pick-up point, while customers who don't wish to take items away from the store instantly can order online for later delivery.
For more examples of e-tailers getting physical, see Everlane: E-tail Hotel Pop-Up Promo, E-Tail Gets a Physical Presence, Collaborations: Beyond the Shop Floor and Pop-Ups Evolve: Cultural Collisions. For more on using data from one platform to fuel another, see Data Tracking & Response Monitoring and Start-Pause-Go: Retail in Hyper-Flow.
For more on Amazon's strategic game-plan, see Amazon Launches High-Speed Delivery, Harnessing the Hunt: Retail's New Search Strategies and Amazon Repositions Via Dazed Mag.