For a while we’ve been watching Amazon’s movements in the physical retail space. They’ve been registering some interesting patents…very few of which seem to have come to fruition in their first book store.
Ironic isn’t it.
While they’re killing off high street bookstores, they’ve opened a high street book store in Seattle. The very fact this store looks so ordinary has quite a few people confused and skeptical about what they’d find.
From the outside it looks like a regular bookstore. It’s big difference is that it’s a bookstore that cares deeply about the internet…and best of all isn’t afraid to tell you to look on Amazon.
This is how it differs from your regular, run-of-the-mill store:
1. A curated experience: Amazon have their long-tail online, so this store stocks a selected collection of best sellers, and top rated books.
Funnily enough a lot of shoppers and reviewers of the store have found this curation a ‘relief’. To quote one ‘(I didn’t) have to browse through dozens of books, looking at different summaries and trying to decide which one I would purchase’.
2. There are no prices: The books don’t have any prices on them, because the store promises to price match it’s offers online.
Given the online prices change so often, the best way of doing this is allowing users to scan a barcode next to the book to show it’s current price.
3. The POS is Amazon recommendations: instead of the usual price information the detail next to books are recommendations pulled from Amazon.com.
4. It’s an omni offer: because the product is limited not all products are in stock. Staff are happy to order to book into store, or order to their homes. As a company born and bred on the internet, there is no channel differention.
Here’s the thing we’ve noticed though – a lot of people were expecting more from an Amazon bookshop. The prime reason to visit was because it was Amazon, but as to whether they’ll return that’s yet to be decided.
It seem that Amazon are using this store as a test. Says Amazon Books VP, Jennifer Cast: ‘We hope that if this goes well, if customers love it, we’d love to do it in other places,”