Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the king in the e-commerce space has taken the steam out of many brick-and-mortar stores. They are now encroaching fast on traditional bookstores too. According to reports, Amazon is now planning to enter many other categories as well from food to furniture. While this is good news for consumers, but the businesses in these categories are worried stiff about Amazon’s entry.
The e-commerce giant has already opened five physical bookstores across the country. They are planning to open five more soon. The new thinking in this Jeff Bezos-led business is that shoppers sometimes want to touch and feel things in person instead of sitting in front of their screens. So Amazon is eager for a pie of the 90 percent of shopping that is still done offline.
eMarketer retail analyst Krista Garcia said, “People are really focused on the customer experience. Right now that’s the buzzword. It’s just sort of that idea that you can’t really have a relationship with your customer online”.
Amazon Planning Many Big-Ticket Brick-And-Mortar Stores
The New York Times reports that, according to anonymous sources inside Amazon, they are now planning brick-and-mortar showrooms for electronics, appliances, and furniture, apart from their forays into grocery and book stores. In a few years time, Amazon wants to have many big-ticket brick-and-mortar stores in these areas spread across the United States, and eventually throughout the world.
Grocery Can Be a Bigger Challenge
Consumers have already accepted Amazon’s bookstores. It also helps the businesses get their branded devices such as the Echo speaker in front of shoppers. Analysts are saying grocery might be more difficult because this is an area where shoppers are most resistant to change. It is also a low-margin business.
They have had some success selling dry goods with the Prime Pantry offerings. However, most buyers still prefer to pick their own fresh food. That may change somewhat as meal-kit delivery subscription services are more widely used.
They are testing in Seattle with the Amazon Go, an in-house convenience store for employees. This is often an incubator of new ideas. An array of sensors and scanners in frictionless checkout detect what customers are buying and analyze their purchase habits, without them having to approach a register.
If Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) eventually enters electronics, appliances, furniture, and possibly other areas, then the move would surely have a huge impact, shaking up many businesses. It would increase Amazon’s footprint immensely.