Amazon’s Apparel Concept Offers a Glimpse Into the Future of Physical Shopping
Photos Courtesy of Amazon
Amazon is reimagining in-store shopping with its first-ever physical store. Later this year, the first Amazon Style store will open in one of LA’s top shopping destinations, The Americana at Brand. Amazon’s world-class operations collide with the latest digital in-store technology delivering a personalized and convenient in-store shopping experience, built to inspire.
Amazon Style promises a new way to shop and discover. Customers can browse a large selection of men’s and women’s apparel, shoes, and accessories, and using the Amazon Shopping App, scan an item’s QR code for product details, including sizes, colors, and customer ratings.
If the shopper likes what they see, they can request the item be delivered to a fitting room or have it sent directly to the pickup counter. Built around personalization, machine learning algorithms produce real-time recommendations based on the personal style of each shopper.
Amazon Style is an unprecedented digital achievement for the physical retail environment. Its combination of sophisticated tech, revolutionary store design, and thoughtful curation makes it easy for shoppers to discover items they’ll feel great in. The store presents a radically new in-store experience designed to satisfy the omnichannel cravings of the post-pandemic consumer.
The retail industry will certainly be watching how consumers respond to the Amazon Style concept for clues into the future of physical retail locations. Many retailers and brands are looking to reinvent their in-store experience with digital solutions to attract customers in the new normal, where foot traffic is in short supply.
Amazon Style’s pioneering new concept represents the holy grail of consumers’ favorite omnichannel habits, which according to CI&T’s recent Connected Retail Report, 68% of consumers are intentionally seeking.
Melissa Minkow, director of retail at CI&T believes Amazon Style has the potential to be a hit among consumers, as it seems to solve two major in-store frustrations—waiting for a fitting room and standing in line at the checkout.
“We do love shopping, absolutely but we love shopping in a convenient way,” Minkow explained. “We want the browsing part to be leisurely but we don’t want any of the transactional components, like trying things on and paying for them to be inconvenient.
Amazon Style offers everything the modern consumer loves about shopping without the typical bottlenecks they experience in stores. Instead of taking up space by storing all sizes and colors of inventory on shelves, instead featuring display items, allowing much of the 30,000 square-foot store space to be freed up for fitting rooms.
Customers will also enjoy a seamless checkout experience, with the ability to easily pay with their Amazon account and go—no waiting in line needed. Amazon Style seems to capture all the convenience of modern omnichannel solutions while delivering the ultimate personalized shopping experience, which begs an important question—is the Amazon Style concept the future of brick-and-mortar retail?
The future of retail
Some may be skeptical of Amazon Style’s new shopping concept, but retail experts believe the store is pioneering digital transformation that will be standard in stores of the (near) future.
“I think this represents the future of how physical retail stores will work,” Minkow predicted, adding “if they can be profitable this way.”
Iterations of the Amazon Style concept are alive in the market, but not at the scale Amazon is planning. Taking up that much commercial real estate is expensive, limiting the number of retailers that can support the expense in terms of volume.
With the biggest name in retail, Amazon Style likely won’t have a problem driving the volume of sales needed to support the expense of its high-priced physical store location. Unlike certain brands that offer only high-end products, Amazon Style will feature an unmatched selection of both high-end and lower ticket items, curated by fashion experts and of course, customer reviews.
“At this scale, you have to be a brand like Amazon that can support the necessary sales volume, explained Minkow.” This concept might not work for a brand that is selling one or two luxury items a day.”
Amazon Style promises to deliver consumers the best of shopping in-stores and online by leveraging the latest omnichannel technology trends and its best-in-class operations. While it remains to be seen how the flagship store will perform long term, the future of the tech giant’s first physical clothing store appears bright.