This week Amazon opened its doors to the public. These aren’t metaphorical doors but real, wooden doors at the entrance of its new brick-and-mortar store. Called simply Amazon Books, the store is located in the company’s hometown of Seattle. Specifically, it’s in the upscale University Village shopping center.
As with any retail operation, location is key to the success of that business. So, too is the case with the online retailer opening its first physical store. The Amazon Books spot is hot as a physical location even if Amazon weren’t based there. What’s more, according to Mashable.com, Seattle has the highest number of book readers per capita of any city in the U.S. Thus, Amazon’s customer profile matches the area’s demographics. Population trends and pedestrian traffic are key considerations in choosing to open a retail location.
“Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com. We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping,” Jennifer Cast, VP of Amazon Books said in a statement on the company’s website. “The books in our store are selected based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators’ assessments. Most have been rated 4 stars or above, and many are award winners.”
Cast also noted that prices at Amazon Books are the same as prices offered by Amazon.com, so you’ll never need to compare our online and in-store prices. “Our mobile app is a great way to read additional customer reviews, get more detailed information about a product, or even to buy products online.”
At Amazon Books, which will be open seven days a week, customers can also test drive Amazon’s devices. Products across our Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet series are available for exploration and Amazon device experts will be on hand to answer questions as well as show shoppers how to use the products.
It’s been two decades since Amazon started selling books online. No word yet on plans for future Amazon Books stores. According to industry insiders, this is a branding and marketing move by Amazon, which seeks to enhance the customer experience and offer more services. The company was seeking a means by which to interface and engage customers at the point of purchase. The store also will allow online purchasers to make returns.