Amazon is breaking into the brick and mortar business model. Odd right? Amazon, the king of online selling getting into physical locations. Probably not for the revenue, or profit, but more for brand appeal. People still like to shop. Even more so, they like to shop on their phone, and then go and pick products up. Walmart is proving that.
Amazon’s first bookstore, Amazon Books, will open on Thursday morning, in the heart of New York City. With over 3,000 titles on sale, the Columbus Circle store is one of two stores planned for the Big Apple, and six that are already open around the U.S. By displaying ratings and reviews, the store leverages Amazon’s 20 years of book-selling data, in many ways mimicking the experience of Amazon.com.
Amazon Books divides books into sections by what is popular nearby and what is read fastest on Kindle. In the most popular area of the store, books are displayed on shelves in groupings that often recommended together online.
A customer review, the number of total Amazon.com reviews and a star rating are displayed under each book on the shelf. All the books in the store either received four-star ratings and above on Amazon.com, or come from lists of best sellers or a hand-curated selection of new, yet-to-be reviewed titles.
The store also provides a strong incentive for customers to join Amazon’s online loyalty program, Prime — a program that analysts say prompts more spending on Amazon.com. Though it’s possible to check out like a regular bookstore, Amazon Books offers significant discounts to Amazon Prime members who make purchases through the app.
It’s all part of Amazon’s push to give consumers new ways to shop with more information and flexibility.
Using a camera within the app, consumers can scan their purchases, opting to either have them shipped or scanned by the cashier. There’s also an electronics section with Amazon’s Kindles and Echos, and more technology-inspired products are coming, including more integration with audiobooks on Audible, Cast said.
Amazon first made its name selling books, but the bookstores are far from its only brick-and-mortar experiment. The company also has plans for convenience stores and grocery stores that use cutting-edge technologies like computer vision.