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Amazon expands bricks and mortar ambitions

20 May 2016 - 09:55 by Graham Miller

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E-commerce giant Amazon is setting out to make itself a bigger player in the multichannel retail market by opening new shops that customers can visit in person, according to BBC News.

Company chief exec, Jeff Bezos, told shareholders this week that in addition to launching real-world outlets at which it will sell books, Amazon will be seeking to enhance the value that is afforded to those who invest in a subscription to its Prime service.

Ultimately, the aim is to make people feel like they are missing out on something major by not choosing to subscribe to the service, which at the moment offers free next day delivery on items ordered via safe shopping online, as well as access to Amazon’s video streaming platform, among other advantages.

While the specific number of outlets that Amazon is planning to open remains up in the air, it has already shown its intent in this area by launching a store in Seattle last year. And it is logical to assume that if these ventures prove to be a success, then the UK could soon play host to an Amazon-branded book shop or two.

The firm is also seeking to assert itself as a major clothing retailer in North America, with ailing brand, Gap, currently in the process of deciding whether or not to start selling its items via Amazon’s well established platform for safe shopping online.

The all-conquering nature of Amazon as a company may put its rivals on the back foot, but for customers it means that it can deliver low prices as well as a more convenient approach to e-commerce through things like local collection points.

Prime subscriptions are rising, but the plans to convince the majority of its customers to sign up in the coming years may be hard to achieve.