A secret shopper's view of Amazon's first bookstore

Secret shoppers visited Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) first bookstore and were asked to rank the location on a variety of metrics. The results showed weakness in selection and price transparency.

The Field Agent sent 10 mystery shoppers into Amazon Books, opened in Seattle in November. They were asked to evaluate different aspects of the experience and offer suggestions for improvement.

The shoppers were asked to list ways in which the physical location was superior to Amazon.com. Roughly 80 percent cited instant gratification as the top reason, 60 percent said better browsing ability and 50 percent liked the organization of books and customer service. The level of information and reviews of stocked items fell short; just 30 percent said it was better than the online experience.

When compared to large speciality chains, price and reviews were ranked as better by 70 percent of shoppers, but the shopping experience, browsing ability, selection and customer service all fell short.

Shoppers were asked to make suggestions and offer criticisms, and more than one wished for digital displays with real-time pricing and critized the narrow aisles and limited selection.

Also, Amazon's store doesn't accept cash, a real inconvenience according to the report.

For more:
- Download The Field Agent report here

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