Amazon is clever, and show why it knows how to sell books.
The opening of Amazon’s first bricks and mortar store in Seattle is news, but it is not earth-shattering.
With its market dominance in books and ebooks, it makes sense for Amazon to take advantage of the loss (destruction?) of physical bookstores over the last 20 years.
What is news, though, is that Amazon is clever.
By making one simple, yet at the same time, radical change to how books are presented in a physical bookstore, it has demonstrated exactly why it is so dominant in book sales. It knows its business.
Cover out on display.
It is so obvious.
Show the customer the cover, and not just the spine.
For almost ever, bookstores have concerned themselves with space, and stocking shelves with books, side-by-side with only the spines on display was considered the standard practice to maximise shelf space.
Why? Because that was how it had always been.
In challenging this one standard practice, Amazon has shown yet again, how and why it has been able to garner a near monopolistic position in the book market.
Amazon is clever and doesn’t do things just because they have always been done in a certain way.
No matter what you may think of Amazon, no one can deny that it is not inventive, competitive, thoughtful and of course, ruthless.
This one simple change in how it presents books in its new physical bookstore is proof of the fact.
Amazon is clever in the book market because books are what Amazon built itself upon.
It is easy to forget that Amazon started out as a small online bookstore, selling book returns from publishers.
At the time, publishers were very happy to have a means of getting a small return on books that were destined to be pulped.
Amazon was happy because it had books to sell that cost it nothing.
This simple business model is what helped Amazon gain a foothold in the book market, and over the years have never taken their foot off the business accelerator.
Sure, Amazon is often criticised for using heavy-handed tactics due to its near monopolistic position in the market, particularly in regards to ebooks.
But Amazon is continually innovating, changing and challenging the way books are sold.
Sadly, however, its competitors are not, with most having their feet stuck in traditional methods that are now outdated.
Amazon is clever.
This is the simple reason why it is so dominant in today’s book market.
More reading: What You Need To Do Before You Self-Publish A Book