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Amazon Physical Store- What Does the Company Aim to Achieve With This Move?

Amazon recently opened a physical store in Columbus Circle area, New York. While an experiment still in its infancy, this online retail giant has invested in physical bookstores since 2015.

These efforts include a few campus bookstores and convenience stores that serve as gadget outlets as well, only with no cashiers, sometimes no books.


Amazon dominates the e-commerce space. It seems a counterintuitive approach when an online e-commerce mogul decides to invest into the very brick-and-mortar institution that it competes against.

On another front, with the data-mining technology and automation techniques that help Amazon run its e-commerce venture, it could bring about a revolution in the physical retail business.

Amazon’s revenue took a 23% leap and crossed an expected $35.5 billion to halt at $35.7 billion in the last financial year. By the looks of its New York-based store, it is safe to assume that the offline business, for now, is fashioned in a manner to boost its online operations further.

As per the Seattle company, a physical store, at present, is just another way to get to the customer and understand what they like and what they don’t.

Amazon’s stores are very much like a live-action application screen. Instead of cramming a good deal of its inventory in the physical space, Amazon has, rather wisely, placed books face out on the shelves. The prices aren’t printed and can be checked via the app or the kiosk placed in the store. The payment also happens via the online app.

Many of the Amazon campus bookstores (now that there will be 20 of them after Amazon opens up the most recent one in Cleaveland) serve as pickup locations where the orders placed via the application can be collected.

Amazon is also planning to introduce grocery shopping to the list of services its retail stores provide. A customer wouldn’t have to go searching in between aisles or stand in a line for the payment. The choices can be made online, and the grocery can be picked up from the store, where a shopping assistant will deliver it to the car if requested.

The entire experience of a physical Amazon store, when observed from where the company stands, seems to be producing a huge amount of consumer intent related data. The use of sensors and the app to keep a record of what the customer shows interest in, what they buy, what they like, and what they avoid will be producing a good deal of data concealing information.

However, Amazon hasn’t yet discussed what it is learning or what it aims to do with the knowledge it’ll accumulate from its physical retail store experiment.

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