Its a way to differentiate from the plethora of virtual stores online today. A physical location can be a place for customers to check outmerchandise first hand, but notnecessarily walk out with it. Customers can buy booksthere, but are also encouraged to check out other productsthat Amazon sells online, such as a Kindleor Fire Tablet. Amazon experts will alsobe on hand to answer questions and show the products in action. This strategy can reducethe cost of running aretail store, since acompanydoesn’thave to keep as much in stock as an ordinary brick-and-mortarretailer would.
ModCloth, an online retailer whose short-term pop up brick and mortar store proved so popular in San Francisco that it’s stayed open for months.(Photo: Elizabeth Weise)
“We discovered small things, the details our customers love,” said Matt Kaness, the company’s president and CEO. “They loved linings in dresses and skirts and they loved pockets.”
The movement got a big boost on Tuesday. when Amazon opened a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, the online retail giant’s first long-term foray into what retail experts call “omni-channel marketing.”
The whole notion of distinct online and offline retailers is going by the wayside. “Today’s customers shop in multiple formats,” said Vicki Cantrell, who heads the digital division of the National Retail Federation. The move to multiple channels for sales is “absolutely a growth strategy for these companies.” Read more…