Amazon has news. It’s not about HQ2.
It’s about a brick-and-mortar shop — in Lone Tree. The Amazon 4-star store, as it’s called, opens today at the Park Meadows Mall.
The purpose is in the name: It’s a physical location where consumers can purchase items that have been ranked with four stars or above by other Amazon users. The store offers discounts on certain items for its self-reported 100 million Prime members and uses digital tags on their products as the items can fluctuate in price the same way they do on the website.
Amazon opened its first 4-star store in New York City on Sept. 27, and the concept received quite a bit of praise as several retail critics hailed it as the next and best approach to retail. The store features products from a plethora of categories pulled from the website, as well as things that are trending in the area of the country where the store is located. The stores do not attempt to have any comprehensive or unifying principle other than the fact all the products have been highly rated by other users. In essence, the stores function as a mirror image of the website, with better targeted research on which products to display and a more local feel.
Experts in market analysis, like this one at Forbes, believe that consumers are relying on their peers’ assessment of products more than they ever have, and that’s a huge advantage for Amazon. This concept is known as “social proof” — consumers can know well ahead of time what other users’ experiences have been with the products. Unlike previous retail efforts that use brand names as a form of “social proof,” Amazon will be able to illustrate how products actually can be beneficial.
The brick-and-mortar operation also allows Amazon to introduce their customers to products they may have otherwise been unfamiliar with while promoting their own products. The company is also looking to add convenience to the checkout process by encouraging customers to pay using the Amazon app. If you do not have the app, there are still ways for you to pay, but Amazon hopes you’ll change your ways after jealously looking at your fellow consumers making simple transactions and walking out of the store with ease.
This is not the first attempt the retail giant has made to disrupt current retail models. Its well-known cashier-less convenience stores are gaining momentum throughout the country.