Amazon’s expansion to physical stores did not surprise

Juha Mattsson

Photo credit: "Amazon España por dentro" by Alvy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Amazon is reportedly looking into expanding to physical stores, according to The Guardian.
This move by Amazon doesn’t come as a surprise, if you consider the trend of retailers following consumer’s tendency to favour stores and brands that offer a complete omni-channel shopping experience.
In other words, this means merging the online and offline experience for the convenience of the consumer. Apple’s success is often attributed to the superiority of its products. However, Apple has actually been one of the few pioneers in successfully combining online and in-store shopping. For those who have ever bought an iPhone or other products from an authentic Apple store, you know what this means.
To match Apple’s “secret sauce” of super-efficient conversion to sales, online retailers such as Amazon need to make a move. Buying a chain of book stores wouldn’t probably be strategically wise for Amazon, given the vast variety of titles available — that would never fit into a single store, no matter how big.
However, for their electronics products, Kindle and Fire, this starts to make much more sense. Amazon is just broadening the reach of its sales channels, and taking advantage of the many benefits that physical stores can offer as market places — including personal service, ability to touch and feel products, and instantly take them home.

We believe physical stores have several advantages over, and complementaries to online stores — as long as they adapt to match the tricks online stores have built their success on for years. The dinosaur will bite back!

Read more on bringing the paths of online and offline together here

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Walkbase provides a retail analytics solution for improving the impact of marketing on physical stores and personalising in-store shopping experience.