Amazon Is Expanding into the Physical World
One of the largest retailers in the U.S. is now going to open brick-and-mortar retail outlets that will resemble department stores.
The retail world is in a tizzy of guessing and second-guessing this move. Yet, watching Amazon in the past indicates this will be nothing like what the retail world has seen before. This foray into physical stores is not new to Amazon. It has offered cashierless convenience stores, book stores and Whole Foods Markets in the past. The benefits to this new retail endeavor will give Amazon places where people can try on clothing, test out products and return as well as pick up special order items. The physical footprint also gives Amazon new customers who are not as comfortable with buying everything online.
The greater advantage is for Amazon to experiment and innovate around retail. Amazon has millions and millions of reviews to use as it begins to develop Amazon-branded products and product offerings in physical stores. Now, Amazon can remove that awkward barrier to the retail experience allowing in-store workers to concentrate on the customer experience rather than ringing up the merchandise.
Department stores and malls have been struggling, but Amazon’s innovations and its big data will allow it to provide the right products at the right time. If Amazon can combine home delivery and the retail experience effectively and seamlessly then you have a retailer set to steal a lot of market share.
Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.