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    The Valley Group

    Retail marketing group creating powerful in-store solutions, driven by insight, knowledge and creativity

    Dr Retail 28.09.21

    Amazon Robots – Are You Being Served?

    Recent news that the upcoming Amazon department stores, rumoured to be launching in the US in 2022, will be tech heavy and offer a wide range of service-related conveniences – will also include smart robots to tend to the fitting rooms. Anyone concerned/intrigued as to how this will be delivered?

    The prospect of having a mild mannered ‘C3PO-esque’ robot politely tap at the door to ask if you need any other sizes, or an ex-Machina type android offering styling advice?! Joking aside the prospect of this convenience is now expected from Amazon and we’re sure it will be delivered in a slick and non-sinister way…

    So, It appears that Amazon will be at the forefront of retail innovation and consumer experience in physical retail, when these stores happen. They are in an advantageous position versus current high street competitors in this sector, as they can start with a blank sheet of paper, curating the most commercially effective product offering and build bold exciting and innovative retail spaces around them, without having to invest heavily in an existing store estate to upgrade them for the future marketplace.

    From a location perspective Amazon are also in an advantageous position, at a time when many huge retail units are vacant in major retail cities, not just in the UK but internationally, following the collapse of many retail giants – Amazon can either strike a deal on a prestigious retail unit or build a new purpose-built space.

    It feels like the consumer is ready for a physical retail space from Amazon that offers a department store range of products and services. A huge number of consumers globally are habitually attuned to Amazon to fulfil shopping needs online through Prime subscription – 200 million subscribers world-wide, generating billions for the brand… it makes sense that the functionality and consumer data that the retailer holds, can be utilised (with consent) to deliver a highly immersive and engaging shopping experience when in their stores. Their Amazon fresh stores are a perfect example of this.

    For brands and retailers to thrive in the future marketplace, the connectivity between ecommerce and physical retail must be seamless. Humans are inherently ‘hunter gatherers’ the desire to shop feeds on this instinct, physical retail also provides social contact, something else that we all need. Retail has a bright future because of these emotive needs. The important element that needs to be delivered in future retail is EXPERIENCE and an EMOTIVE connection – having robots in the fitting room to help you shop will certainly be an experience!

    We look forward to seeing Amazon deliver their department stores and we’ll be first in the queue at the fitting room!

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