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Inside an Indoor Mall / Shopping Center

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.

Inside an Indoor Mall / Shopping CenterThe 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.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.