An insatiable, social-media-fuelled appetite for everything new is driving the value of store concepts that resemble micro exhibitions of hyper-curated edits. Along these lines, Amazon is re-entering the physical retail space with a 370 sq m Manhattan store that makes high online ratings a key selling point – keeping consumers ‘in the know’.
Using its vast database on what’s trending and what shoppers are buying (and liking) recently, Amazon 4-star only sells merchandise that’s rated four stars or more, is a top seller, or has been added to its e-commerce site in the past three months.
Arranged as a sort of expo store showcasing the trendiest things on Amazon (see also Beta Blends), the 2,000-piece product range includes books, games, household goods and toys, as well as its own range of Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers. A dedicated section titled Trending showcases a rotating mix of products, while a table of Most Wished-For items aims to offer inspiration for the upcoming Christmas season.
A digital price tag in front of the items displays consumers’ online reviews, with prices mirroring those on the website (Amazon operates a fluid pricing model, so prices change constantly). The tags also often include both a listed price and a cheaper one for Amazon Prime users – an incentive to sign up for membership on-site.
Amazon has been experimenting a lot with physical retail lately, with storefronts allowing the e-tail giant to get a bit more hands-on with consumers. Concepts include its Amazon Book stores, its innovative automated self-checkout concept Amazon Go, and click-and-collect centres on university campuses. The heavyweight also bought Whole Foods in 2017, and now operates 460 Whole Foods supermarkets, in which it has also added Amazon Fresh grocery pick-up stations. See also Last Mile: Retail Delivery Focus.