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Amazon’s plan to take over physical retail is finally becoming more clear

26 Jun 2018

Amazon’s physical retail strategy is coming into focus, and just like the company’s e-commerce business, it’s focused on convenience. Perhaps the best way to make things more convenient for customers is to shorten the time it takes for them to complete a shopping trip.

At Whole Foods, that strategy is well underway. Microtrips at the organic grocer are up 8.7% chainwide since it was acquired by Amazon for more than $13 billion in August 2017, according to a report by InMarket. Microtrips are defined as shopping trips that take less than five minutes to complete.

InMarket says this growth is likely thanks to the Amazon Lockers that the e-commerce giant installed in most Whole Foods stores, where customers can come and pick up their online Amazon purchases.

The devices are located inside the store, and any visit is a potential sale to a new customer who hadn’t previously planned on coming in.

The new visitors are also likely Amazon Prime members. Maybe they’ll spot a too-good-to-pass-up Prime Member Deal on fresh fish and get inspired to cook it for dinner tonight. Or maybe they’ll see the “buy one, get one free” sale on canned seltzer and remember that they’re also almost out of bread.

We’ve seen this strategy at play before, at Amazon’s convenience-store concept, Amazon Go. The object at Go stores is for customers to get in and out as quickly as possibly, making purchases seamless and as quick as your mind is able to decide what you want.

Amazon GoAmazon Go is all about convenience. Getty/Stephen Brashear

Using sensors and cameras to track purchases instead of a traditional check-out also means no time to second guess, which likely means fewer missed sales.

Basically, Amazon is looking for a “one-click checkout” button, but for physical stores.

Source: Business Insider UK