AMAZON LOFT FOR XMAS
The importance of an omni-channel strategy
Amazon, taking advantage of the Black Friday, opened its first Italian pop up store in Milan on November 16th…. And, as the Bocconi Students Marketing Society, we came to visit! It will be opened until Cyber Monday, November 26th.
Once a customer gets inside the store, he’s going to see different loft areas and for each of them there are various objects displayed. There is a section for each service offered by the company: Prime, Prime Reading, Basics, Pantry and Alexa. Moreover, there is also an additional area specific for children, full of toys (so that children could start thinking about what to write in Santa’s letter).
The American company decided to reach its customers offline by creating a loft, a real house decorated for Christmas holidays completely furnished with items available on Amazon’s website. The goal is to boost sales both for Black Friday and Christmas.
The multi-billion-dollar society would not give up completely its digital soul, in fact, you can’t actually buy something at the loft and bring it home. Every item has its QR CODE, that can be read by a smartphone through the Amazon App, providing additional information and the purchase link.
Another successful example of retailer which has integrated the customer experience is Alibaba, through HEMA department stores. It created a model called “New Retail” based on online, offline, logistic platforms and big data: the key to connect everything everywhere is the App. The user experience becomes fluid, seamless, while the customer does not perceive a boundary anymore between brick and mortar and e-commerce.
Turning back to Amazon Loft, the decision to open a pop-up store comes from the will of the company to increase its touchpoints with customers. It has created a new experience that in the end is unified: costumers have to go back to the original and online environment to finalize their purchase.
Amazon has been really thoughtful while creating an integrated omnichannel strategy, especially when it comes to face some issues resulting from the consumer behavior between the online and offline environment.
Just to list you some of them…
Online purchase has become more attractive to many consumers, since many items are available at lower price. However, it happens that a lot of people still prefer touching and seeing what they are buying, so they go to offline stores to better understand the product they want, but they eventually buy it online. For this reason, many brick-and-mortar stores became showroomsfor online stores, in particular for Amazon.
Deciding to open a pop-up store means taking even more advantage from this purchasing behavior: Amazon loft is showing many items that probably would be affected by the show-rooming effect.At the Xmas loft customers can interact with products (among which, Alexa) and test their features. Once they are convinced, they can purchase the items they want online, without wasting any time in further offline searches.
ROPO: Research Online – Purchase Offline
Shoppers can also search the internet to gain more information about a product, and in the end purchase it in a physical store. Amazon Loft strategy is to provide everything is needed at once: you interact with the product, then you scan the QR code, gaining the information you need, and then you are ready to make a purchase decision just clicking on a link. This kind of approach is the ultimate way to create a seamless customer journey.
Nowadays, in every purchase decision and thus in every customer journey, experience is the main driver of action. Online stores try to improve the shopping experience at their best, designing flawless User experiences and User interfaces and even providing real time assistance with live chats. Unfortunately, on this side, physical stores have way more leverage, providing customers with pleasant shopping environment and good-quality service.
Without Amazon Loft, it would be difficult for the company to create a Christmas – themed environment that customers could explore, and be inspired by for Xmas gifts.
It is pretty clear experience is the priority in such a competitive and stimulating environment. And the experience at Amazon loft is really at the first place: there’s a staff that not only can give you information, but also entertain you with games and photos.
Amazon probably wanted to give to its customers what they cannot usually have online: a funny, interactive and unconventional omni-channel shopping experience...
And you, have you been to the loft?
Edited by: Erica Blotto