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Most people were shocked when Amazon first announced plans of actually building physical locations to sell books; after all, Amazon was the reason why many book stores had to shutdown. The online retailer is still in the experimental stages of their bookstores and yet, they’ve already made a huge splash, rocking what remains of the book industry. But Amazon is duplicating the ways previous bookstores have run, they seem to be experimenting purposefully to optimize the best way to promote different books. Amazon seeks to refine the bookstore.
Right off the bat, they’ve begun to set up their stores differently than other bookstores. While a typical bookstore stack its books on shelves with spines out, Amazon Books has implemented a different way: books being stacked with their cover out. It’s a bit of a radical concept, it’s not exactly space efficient, but it gives the books a better chance to catch customers’ eyes.
Which boils down to one of the main concepts Amazon is fiddling with through their brick and mortar locations: book discoverability. It’s the bane of the book industry, with even Google trying their hand at it and not quite succeeding. Even Amazon comes across this online as the website is more of a search engine for books than a place to discover books.
But Amazon seems to be aware of the problem. They look to be seeking solutions through experimenting with the physical stores. Before Amazon opens each new location, they study what books people are reading in the area so they know what genres to market. Once the store opens, they have a “local favorites” section to promote what popular books are being read there.
Read more about Amazon’s bookstores and what CEO Jeff Bezos has to say at Fast Co Design.