Amazon’s new store brings together the company’s best technological features, including machine learning and cloud computing, to offer a highly curated shopping experience. Combined with smart screens, Internet of Things technology and the convenience Amazon is known for, Amazon Style aims to be the future of shopping, realised. Situated in The Americana at Brand shopping mall in Glendale, California, the huge space is part retail store, part warehouse. Amazon Style offers customers mu
multiple ways of shopping, leveraging Amazon’s world-class machine learning capability to provide personalised options in a physical environment. The innovative fashion store looks and feels like any other. And it stocks everything from well-known brands to new and emerging ones. Discoverability is easy, as customers’ preferences are seamlessly matched, based on their Amazon profile and shopping habits. As customers browse the store and choose items in their size and colour to try on, they scan a QR code positioned on the garment’s hanger, which starts a wish list within the app and reserves a fitting room. As customers interact with QR codes and add items to try on, the app captures data on a shopper’s style preferences and sizing information. While customers are still in the store, they can discover new items in the app and send directly to their fitting room. Trying on items in Amazon Style is also incredibly convenient. If a shopper needs an alternative size, colour or style or a completely different outfit, they can tap the screen in the fitting room and browse from an extensive range within the facility. Request new pieces or rate items to see new suggestions and have them delivered to the fitting room in minutes. Personalised service Amazon Style has cleverly integrated its personalised shopping service into bricks-and-mortar. Many e-commerce websites use machine learning to provide product suggestions based on what a shopper is browsing. However, not all e-commerce stores use machine learning and their product recommendation system is often based on what other customers have purchased, making the recommendation not very personalised at all. Amazon Style provides the same level of e-commerce personalisation as a website while customers are shopping in-store, encouraging them to use the app as they’re browsing to find alternative colours, styles and looks. It also taps into a habit many of us have now – using our smartphones to search and compare items online as we’re walking around a store. Amazon Style not only provides alternative items, it also shows the best deals or price points matched to a customer’s preferences. Speed and convenience A PwC report states that nearly 80 per cent of American consumers value speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service when shopping. Amazon prides itself on prioritising technology that delivers on these elements, especially in its physical retail stores – Amazon Style, Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh, Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Books. When a shopper is ready to leave Amazon Style, they can send their chosen items to the pick-up area or buy at another time, as the items will be saved in their Amazon account. And purchasing items at Amazon Style is simple, shoppers can buy online and have items sent to their home, or pay and pick up in store. The payment methods are as advanced as Amazon’s machine learning capability. The online retailer recently launched Amazon One, a contactless payment method that recognises the palm of your hand. Customers can pay by hovering their palm over an Amazon One scanner, which uniquely identifies the shopper and takes payment from their merchant account. A store that starts and ends with people The technology underpinning personalisation and convenience at Amazon Style is on another level; however, the heroes in the shopping experience are the store associates. Front-of-house and back-of-house associates help connect the digital touchpoints to the physical experience. Front-of-house associates at Amazon Style assist customers with their shopping queries and getting the most out of the app and their in-store experience. Back-of-house associates focus solely on picking items that have been scanned to get them ready for delivery to a fitting room or the counter for purchase. While we’ve become accustomed to shopping online, physical stores still provide many benefits online can’t. Interacting with people, trying on clothes, visiting cool immersive activations, and simply popping into a store can provide customers insight into the brand’s ethos and lifestyle. Shoppers can gain a better understanding of what the brand stands for and the story behind it. These qualities tend to be limited from behind a screen, no matter how close we are to shopping in the metaverse. Amazon Style will be a blueprint for fashion retailers around the world. It’s a stellar example of integrating advanced technology solutions within physical retail, ensuring it’s useful to both customers and retailers. It’s no surprise that a large e-commerce player is leading the way in creating the ideal physical shopping experience. Why? Because a business with a model that is digital-first from inception is designed to continuously fine-tune its website and supply chain for a highly personalised experience focused on convenience. No matter what, it’s always about the customer and their happiness.