Today I’m focusing on something a little different. Rather than a specific EReader, I’m taking a look at Amazon’s physical stores and how they can help you make a decision on which EReader you need.
So Why Do They Exist?
It’s a bit of an odd concept really. Amazon have already dominated the online world with EBooks and EReaders being stored in warehouses and then being shipped to customers. So why change? Well they realised that customers sometimes really just want to hold the thing first before they commit to that final purchase decision.
The interesting thing here is that they’re not rolling out hundreds of these stores and putting their entire weight behind the idea. At the time of writing there were only 14 stores and they’re based in the United States. Time will tell as to whether or not they go internationally.
So What’s Different To A Traditional Store?
So one of the key differences here is around the price of the items. In a traditional high street store, items would be priced a little higher than they’re online competitors as they need to factor in staff costs, building lease agreements etc. Not Amazon stores. The price in store is the same price online.So how do they cope with online price fluctuations? Well they don’t actually have prices on the items! It’s a bit quirky but you can either take the item to one of their barcode scanners throughout the store or download an app on your phone to tell you the price. This is fine for 1 or 2 purchases but anything more than that, could be a little clunky. However, this extra level of effort could mean you get some great bargains.
Secondly, Amazon stores have a bit more a showroom feel than your average store, where presentation is key. This is great for looking at EReaders as they have a number of display that you can have a play with to help finalize your decision. As it’s Amazon though, this does mean only Kindle’s will be in the store. No Nooks or Kobo’s I’m afraid
Another differentiator is that the Amazon physical stores don’t have everything you can purchase online. In fact they probably have about 1% of what you can purchase online. They’ve focused on stocking the top selling books and tech where you want to get a feel for it before you buy. This is fine if you’re looking for EReaders but if it’s to flick through the pages of a particular book, might be worth calling them first to make sure they have it in stock.
The final point to touch on here is the level of advertisement Amazon has made about it’s stores. They haven’t really and have actually gone for the approach of ‘saying less is more’ to drive up curiosity and interest. There’s no large banner ads on their site redirecting you to their nearest store or mass media publications when another store gets opened. Even to find the list of stores available I had to use a combination of Wikipedia and YouTube videos just to get their address. I guess Amazon are taking the ‘wait and see’ approach before making a big fanfare around these stores.
So How Do The Bookstores Look
This short video by Bloomberg gives you a brief overview of how they look inside:
Where Are The Stores?
So if you’re living in the states, then you’re in luck. There are a number of stores located across the country. You can find your nearest store on the list below
|Washington||2623 NE University Village St, Seattle, WA 98105, USA|
|Washington||28 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA|
|Washington||3040 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA|
|California||4545 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92122, USA|
|California||333 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128, USA|
|California||10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067, USA|
|California||1259 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, USA|
|New York City||10 Columbus Circle|
|New York City||7 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001, USA|
|New Jersey||2417, 1 Garden State Plaza Blvd, Paramus, NJ 07652, United States|
|Massachusetts||246 Legacy Pl, Dedham, MA 02026, USA|
|Massachusetts||1115 Market St, Lynnfield, MA 01940, USA|
|Illinois||3443 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA|
|Oregon||9624 SW Washington Square Rd, Portland, OR 97223, USA|
So What’s The Difference Between Amazon Book Stores And Amazon Go?
Basically a massive one. With the Amazon bookstores, they only focus stocking the top sellers and gadgets such as EReaders. With Amazon Go they’re trying to stock a range of everything. Also with Amazon Go there are no checkouts! You enter the store with your signed in Amazon account and when you pick something up it’s added to your Amazon cart. When you walk out the store, you receive your payment confirmation. Weird right?
Amazon’s video below provides a great summary:
So there you have it. A list of Amazon bookstores where you can try before you buy. I’d definitely recommend trying one out if you’re in the local area, even if it’s just for the novelty value.
Until next time