Online retail sales have been steadily increasing since Amazon first launched their book selling website in 1995, but despite many predictions to the contrary, the physical store still reigns supreme, with over 85% of retail sales being conducted in person. Despite Amazon’s incredible market share of eCommerce sales, the online store accounts for just 1% of total retail sales. This week Amazon is doubling down on the continued endurance of physical stores with the appointment of Doug Harrington, CEO, Worldwide Amazon Stores.
In addition to over 500 Whole Foods Markets, Amazon’s physical stores include Amazon Go convenience stores, Amazon Books stores, Amazon 4-Star outlets, as well as Amazon Pop-Up locations. And in May, Amazon launched its first-ever Amazon Style store in Glendale, California, where customers can browse apparel and accessories on display in the massive, glass-walled storefront (that is fueled by the even more massive Amazon warehouse behind it).
What does this mean for other location-based retailers? The high-tech features that Amazon has implemented, and continues to evolve in their physical stores, should definitely be on the watch list for other retailers hoping to compete against the retail giant. Features like room-ready alerts to your mobile phone when your dressing room is ready, browsing the Amazon website and sending items directly to your dressing room, self-service checkout stations, and buy online – pick up in store, are just some of the shopping experiences that consumers are starting to expect.