Amazon bookstores are the new mixed media of the retail world. A clever blend of the offline and online world that caters to the middle class and above. A convenience that we will become accustomed to.
As a software application thats deeply entrenched in Amazon’s world and a local to Los Angeles, we were totally excited when we heard that Amazon was opening several more of their book store concepts in the area.
Open since last year (2018), the Pacific Palisades location is the situated in the perfect demographic for Amazon customers. Wealthy and Prime.
Here are 7 things I learned about Amazon from visiting an Amazon bookstore.
1. Amazon bookstores are hyper localized
It shouldn’t have, but it did come to a great surprise to me that the Amazon’s bookstores carry items that do exceptionally well in the markets the store serves.
That isn’t a super radical idea to be honest. For example, grocery stores in Georgia most likely sell different food items than ones in Alaska due to weather, customers and regional differences.
But thinking about the exponential data that Amazon has harvested from it’s billions of transactions each day on Amazon.com, the nerd in me really comes out thinking about it’s customization. But also, I couldn’t help wondering if this was super useful or more limiting?
2. They are not opposed to partnerships with other brands
When it makes sense…Amazon will partner with other brands.
This was a surprise to me as Amazon as of late has been accused of imitating other brands as they fight off antitrust sentiments from the Congress, media and the general public.
Without physical products to sell, Discover in this case was able to partner for a branded kiosk of sorts or at least a “section” on their floor plan to showcase some of their value offerings.
3. They are still hell bent on customer satisfaction
I loved seeing this happy or sad face kiosk on the way out of the store. I felt happy to be honest, so I pressed the green button and I wouldn’t be surprised if this little magical NPS survey stand was tied directly into the overall compensation for the store manager.
”The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.”
Jeff Bezos has always built his company around customer satisfaction and that obsession has led to the success of Amazon.
4. It’s not just about books
As you may have guessed, Amazon has left some of the floorplan for it’s Everyday Basics line which proves that they will always start and end with books but they are looking to leverage every square inch of their stores for maximum sales.
Promotion of their own electronic brands comes as a natural expectation as well. There was lots of space set aside for the Kindle and FireTV in this particular store.
5. They sell used books too…sorta….
When I spoke to one of the lovely associates in store, I asked her point blank; “Does Amazon just sell new books in their bookstores?”
She replied that it really depends on the store but in a lot of cases, Amazon will carry collector items (books) for sale in it’s bookstore.
So you won’t be able to do much retail arbitrage in the Amazon bookstore but you may find a rare book that is too good to pass up for your personal collection.
6. Technology is leveraged everywhere…duh….
AWS is a cloud computing juggernaut that brought in more revenue in 2018 than the entire whole of business activities of McDonalds🍟! And AWS is just one division and product of Amazon. 🤑
With a technological backbone like that it’s no wonder Amazon’s books stores would be laced and ripe with book selling technology.
From advertising kiosks to digital price tags, Amazon has packed in a LOT of tech into their book stores to enable as many sales as it can.
This is just genius to be honest….
7. The shopping experience was fantastic and well balanced
I thought I would love it anyways being such a fan of Amazon but i was even more impressed than i thought I would be after visiting an actual store for the first time.
It’s Amazon right? So we all know they have some of the most brilliant minds in tech, product and marketing behind their brand but these Amazon bookstores really are a homerun in terms of the shopping experience.
The layout of the book store was well thought through, spacious and had me always curious as to what was around the corner.