- Amazon opened its new Amazon 4-star store to the public on September 27.
- It’s just one of several physical retail initiatives the e-commerce giant has undertaken recently.
Amazon has become synonymous with online shopping.
The e-commerce giant is now estimated to take about half of all online sales in the United States.
But Amazon cannot live online alone. The company is increasingly moving into the physical world, opening spaces in malls, shopping districts, and even local strip malls. It’s a move that signals the company’s ambitions are larger than e-commerce, combining its digital prowess with the convenience of physical retail.
One reason that may be, an anonymous source told CNBC last year, is that the company is seeing online sales go up in areas that have physical Amazon stores. Brick-and-mortar stores increase customer awareness of the brand, and it’s extra fuel for the Amazon engine.
Its latest move is Amazon 4-star in New York.
Here are all of the ways that Amazon has expanded into the physical world so far:
Amazon 4-star sells only items that customers have rated four stars or above on Amazon.com.
Amazon’s new concept only stocks items that customers have rated four stars or above, on average. That means it will include only the best of the best.
The store essentially uses the same format as the brand’s Amazon Books store, but has more categories on offer, including toys and games, home and kitchen, and yes, books. Amazon 4-star uses the same customer reviews as Amazon Books and the same cashless checkout process.
Amazon’s pickup centers look a lot like post offices.
The locations function a lot like a post office, but just for Amazon packages. Get them sent to the building’s address, and they’ll be there when you’re ready to pick them up. Packages can be kept there for up to two weeks.
Need to return an item? The service is free, since it doesn’t actually need to go through the mail.
Amazon won’t say exactly how many of these locations exist in the United States, but the number is at least 30 and growing.
Amazon Go is a new kind of convenience store.
Amazon Go is the store of the future.
With no lines or checkout process, the store uses cameras and sensors to track what you put in your basket. It then charges you through your Amazon account.
The first Go store opened to the public on January 22 after a lengthy beta period. Amazon now operates four of these stores: three in Seattle and one in Chicago.
There are now two Go formats. One focuses on fresh, prepared foods and snacks, while the other has a limited grocery selection.
The company is reportedly planning to open up to 3,000 Go stores across the country, according to Bloomberg.