Top 4 Reasons Amazon is Going for Brick-and-Mortar (And You Should, Too!)
Rumours are flying that Amazon is about to embark on a major new launch. Just last year, the online retailer ventured into brick-and-mortar establishments, with the opening of Amazon Books in Seattle, Washington.
At the time, speculation was high that the multinational company would open up more physical locations, though the noise quieted down until earlier this month.Buzz began again when CEO Sandeep Mathrani of General Growth Properties, a company responsible for managing malls all over America, appears to have made a slip-up of releasing some proprietary information while addressing analysts on a conference call. “Their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores,” the New York Times reported Mathrani to have said.
However, after the news went viral, General Growth Properties released a statement claiming that the remark “was not intended to represent Amazon’s plans.” Naturally, Amazon isn’t talking either, though the Times spoke to an inside source who confirmed the rumour, but explained the launch would be much more modest than Mathrani indicated.
Regardless of where Amazon stands on potentially opening hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores, we do know that they have at least one so far, and it’s doing quite well. Though Amazon Books is a permanent fixture, and not a pop up shop, their movement is a clear indicator that physical stores are where it’s at right now. Here’s a look at the top four reasons Amazon is going for brick-and-mortar, and why you should consider a pop up shop venture of your own.
1) People Still Prefer to Hold Merchandise- Especially Electronics and Gadgets
Even though Amazon’s shop is called a book store, it actually hosts all their electronic devices as well. Whether you’re in the market for a Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, or Fire Tablet, Amazon Books operates a lot like the Apple Store. It’s one of the very few places where you can actually hold the technology before you purchase it, and they have reps on hand to show you features and teach you how to use them. If your business sells a product that “sells itself” whenever someone holds it, a pop up shop can help overcome buyer reluctance.
2) Physical Locations Generate Awareness
Amazon has seamless integration between their web and physical store. Though their brick-and-mortar establishment hosts only a fraction of the inventory of the virtual, they’ve hand-picked the top-rated books and the best sellers to present to customers.If all of Amazon’s inventory was in one building, it would probably need to be the size of a small country, so this may have something to do with the decision to keep inventory to a minimum. However, it is common practice amongst major retailers to select only their best-selling items to showcase in a pop up shop.
Additionally, Amazon’s prices between venues always match, so customers are encouraged to scan barcodes to see the online price. The store’s shelf tags also feature online reviews, again encouraging consumers to head back to the online store for more information. As John McCullough of Bang & Olufsen explained to us in an earlier interview, choosing the right location for a pop up shop can bring loads of foot traffic your way, too. It gives people the opportunity to become familiar with your brand, when you might not reach them through other forms of advertising and media.
3) Shipping and Delivery Options are Improved
Amazon is well-known for having distribution centres almost everywhere, and their shipping times are among the best. With the inclusion of a couple-hundred more venues, serving as distribution centres, they’ll be able to get products to their consumers even quicker. Their existing location also enables shoppers to buy online after looking at items in the store, and customers can have items shipped anywhere. We’ve seen this kind of integration with numerous retailers, whether they use the Amazon system, or allow shoppers to buy online and pick up at a retail location, to avoid shipping delays and costs. These are simple things even a modest pop up shop can integrate with ease.
4) Brick-and-Mortar Shops Boost Customer Loyalty
The Amazon Books website features a large image of a woman reading to a child inside the store, and says, “Discover great books with your children.” They’re absolutely nailing customer loyalty on two fronts here. First, it’s not just a “store” anymore. It’s a welcoming environment where people can come, lounge on a sofa, and enjoy each other’s company. Secondly, they’re capturing a market of young consumers, who may now grow up with Amazon Books, and will associate the brand with warm feelings. This is something any pop up shop can do. In your own pop up shop, you can host community events or learning sessions. Not only will this make your community a slightly better place to be, but it will also help create loyal customers, even after your pop up shop has closed.
Even if your small business doesn’t have a massive marketing team and budget like Amazon does, you can still benefit in the same ways they do. By going for a pop up shop, you’ll reap all the benefits of a brick-and-mortar establishment, without the worry and expense that comes from the long-term commitment of a traditional lease.
Popertee has officially launched, and we have temporary venues available all over Ireland! Check out our site to see which options are a good fit for your business.