The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Amazon Is Making Bricks-and-Mortar Work

Amazon turned “showrooming” into a dirty word in retail. Now, the company is making showrooming work in its bricks-and-mortar bookstore, according to author and strategist Frank Catalano in an article for GeekWire.

Catalano visited the Amazon Books store in Seattle and discovered a lot to like. He found a comfortable store that made running across something new to read easier then the Amazon online recommendation engine. Prices were the same as listed online, despite signs that showed books at full publisher list price, and Amazon’s ratings and excerpts from reviews were easy to locate.

“The genius is that Amazon has neatly knocked down the virtual walls between online and physical retailing, carefully bringing online content and transactional expertise to what already works in in-person shopping,” Catalano wrote. “It just happens to be a bookstore.”

Reports have also surfaced about a pilot that places display stands of e-book-specific Amazon gift cards in drugstores in Washington state. The cards can be redeemed for the e-book on the card or turned into general-purpose store credit.

“It seems clear Amazon’s brick-and-mortar ambitions are only beginning,” Chris Meadows wrote in an article for TeleRead. “And if bookstores thought it was bad when they only had to compete with the online version of the site, something tells me their problems are just about to get a whole lot worse.”

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