Although Jeff Bezos started his store ‘Amazon’ as an online book-store and then grew into the online giant that he is, his faith in the physical retail realm had never stopped to exist.
Bezos opened Amazon’s first physical bookstore in Seattle last November. This store housed around 5000 books and Amazon devices. It is reported to be working on its second store to be located near San Diego.
“We’re definitely going to open additional stores, how many we don’t know yet,” Bezos said.
In a 2012 interview with Charlie Rose, Bezos had said that Amazon would love to open a ‘brick-and mortar’ store, but only if they can have a “truly differentiated” idea.
“One of the things that we don’t do very well at Amazon is doing a me-too product offering. So when I look at physical retail stores, it’s very well served…We don’t want to do things because we can do them. We want to do something because it’s going to – we don’t want to be redundant,” Bezos told Rose.
Some of these differentiated ideas are that the book covers face outwards, instead of being displayed spine out, and online reviews are shown next to each product. Also, there is no price next to the book because it offers the pricing that exists at that minute on Amazon. An app is also under development that would allow customers to skip the checkout counter.
Related: How to sell on Amazon.com
Bezos had hinted in a 2007 shareholder letter that he will get into retail only if he solves the following 4 questions:
- We must convince ourselves that the new opportunity can generate the returns on capital our investors expected when they invested in Amazon
- And we must convince ourselves that the new business can grow to a scale where it can be significant in the context of our overall company.
- Furthermore, we must believe that the opportunity is currently under-served
- …and that we have the capabilities needed to bring strong customer-facing differentiation to the marketplace
These are indications of Jeff Bezos’ belief that co-existence of online and offline is the way forward. Offline never seems to get outdated and is still catching up with the new trends and mentality of people. An omnichannel retailing trend is seen to have born and sneaking into the retail space gradually. This is a healthy move and is expected to give a comfortable space to both online as well as offline sellers.