If retailers were worried about the impact Amazon would have on the world of eCommerce, they should be even more concerned about what Amazon has up its sleeves when it comes to physical stores with the leading eCommerce company showing expansion into the offline world as well.
According to a report in The New York Times, while Amazon has focused much of its efforts in physical stores on food and groceries, it’s also eyeing other markets, and experiments are currently under way. If it does end up being successful, the Times reported it could have a huge impact on how other retailers operate their stores. For instance, Amazon could roll out new automation technology, which would put traditional retail jobs at risk. What’s more, if Amazon places stores near customers’ homes, it could further its vision of being able to deliver packages online within hours of purchasing them.
What’s more, several people with knowledge of Amazon’s plans said the e-tailer is also looking at creating stores that would sell furniture and home appliance and other types of products that consumers aren’t as keen about purchasing online. The stores would be showcases for the products with orders being delivered to the consumers’ homes. Amazon is also playing with augmented and virtual reality in these furniture stores so that shoppers can see how a couch, table or appliance would actually look in their home. But the expansion isn’t stopping there. The paper reported Amazon is mulling an electronics store, which would focus on Amazon devices and services such as the Echo speaker and Prime Video streaming. As for groceries, Amazon has already opened stores that don’t requires cashiers and is close to opening two stores where drivers can pick up orders without getting out of their cars in Seattle. Outside of the U.S., Amazon is aiming to roll out physical grocery stores in India.