One of the interesting thing that I found on the web was that Amazon opened its first-ever brick-and-mortar retail store in its 20-years of business. The Amazon Book Store itself is like any other store on the street with wooden racks, 5000-6000 books and a cute Kindle Book offering visitors a chance to browse through their favourite reading list.
Amazon is the largest online marketplace and one of the most popular companies serving customers in 15 different countries across the world, took a chance of opening a physical store. This seemed silly on my part until I thought of why they did that!
The Amazon Book Store offered something that online marketplace was not able to offer for 20 years, “the instant gratification of owning an item the second it was purchased and personal opinion about a product from an experienced salesperson”.
Apart from this, Amazon was also confident that the data generated by this exercise will be very helpful in selling the series of Kindle E-books on the website and the Kindle Store. The vice-versa also works! The reviews and feedback on the website will provide an idea of what to sell in the store and how to stock up the store. There was no surprise on my part when I heard this, but a glimpse of shock at why anyone else hasn’t thought about it.
Although Seattle was the destination for this venture, I had a good look at the pictures sitting here in India. I think the best part about the Amazon Store was that it was showcasing authors and their work, rather than just racking up books.
What should we learn from Amazon Book Store?
- It feels good to have a Physical Store of an Online Marketplace. We could just look for something on the web and buy it instantly from the store at the same price.
- We can educate people better about a specific brand or a series of products.
- Have the experience and physical comfort in buying the same from online.
- Build trust in people who are afraid of online shopping.
- The most important part – Brand Awareness! One of the best outcome from having a physical appearance of an online marketplace, at least from Amazon’s findings is that offline retail is a big space with room for lots of winners. So, integrating both Online and Physical visibility can bring in a lot of awareness, marketing and promotion to all segments of a Brand Line.
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Why should Indian e-retailers follow Amazon’s footsteps?
- Test the Market: Opening a Physical Store, shops in malls allows brands to engage in test marketing new products and promotions to gauge future demand.
- Reach Audience: Although the number of online shoppers has increased by 120% last year, they’re still 60% that can be reached and encouraged to do online shopping.
- Brand Extension: Businesses can extend their brand and build awareness. For online businesses, especially, physical shops provide a way to interact with customers face-to-face and also educate them about new products, services and features.
- Stay ahead in the Competition: Now that anyone can buy anything, sitting anywhere in India, people are getting used to online shopping. One of the best ways of being at the top of the competition is integrating the online & physical store and exploring the findings from both to serve customers better.
Surprisingly, none of the big giants of India like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong, etc has yet tapped into the physical market, even after Amazon has shown the path of serving customers better. But, I recently read about the new 2,500 sq. ft. Pepperfry Studio in Mumbai, where a range of furniture’s is showcased from Pepperfry.com’s online portfolio. As per Pepperfry, this place lets you experience the cutting edge designs, ranging from contemporary to classic, from ethnic to eclectic”. After I read more about Studio Pepperfry, I felt someone is thinking right and exploring options in India!
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One of the best outcomes from having a physical appearance of an online marketplace, at least from Amazon’s findings is that offline retail is a big space with room for lots of winners. So, integrating both Online and Physical visibility can bring in a lot of awareness, marketing and promotion to all segments of a Brand Line.
Myrsa is an online platform where you can find the physical spaces for your brands in prime locations. It lets you rent a space for a temporary period of time, starting from a few hours to a few days. The temporary rental program makes it easier for you to find mall space for rent. If you wish to take your business offline you can find spaces easily on Myrsa.in.