WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
There are pros and cons to online and offline shopping, and increasingly retailers, particularly Amazon, are trying to find the happy ground between the two using new technologies like drones and new, immersive reality technologies.
According to sources Amazon’s retail plans could extend well beyond books and groceries, and sources say that the internet retail giant is “exploring” the possibility of appliance and furniture stores with a technological twist that would allow customers to use Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to see how items would look in their own home before they bought them, making it easier to pull the trigger on that new grill or sofa. And there’s a chance that Amazon might challenge some of its tech rivals more directly in retail, too.
Reportedly, Amazon is mulling an electronics store that would be similar in concept to Apple’s shops, and while Amazon’s bookstores already carry some of its devices, these would, naturally, have a “heavy emphasis” on hardware and services like Echo speakers and Prime Video.
The sources were also quick to point out that talking about stores isn’t the same as definitive plans, and that there’s a chance that Amazon will scrap the ideas if they prove to be unworkable, but nonetheless as new AR and VR technologies help online retailers increasingly blur the boundaries between the digital and the physical world Amazon’s new alleged moves could, if nothing else, help to further erode your reasons to travel down to the shops to check out that sofa or washing machine…
In Amazons world, one that’s filled with literally tens of thousands of small iterative innovations and tweaks that are all designed to, bit by bit, chip away at their competitors competitive advantage, improve the customer experience and improve their overall operational efficiency and margins, such as their drive to become the world’s first fully autonomous fulfilment company, this could just be another small step on Amazon’s path to complete world domination.