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The intelligence behind Amazon’s ‘4-Star’

This week, @amazon launched its first general store in Soho, New York City. Aptly named ‘4 Star’, the store is stocked solely with Amazon’s 4-star + rated products.

Contrary to the traditional retail model, where inventory is decided by buyers following market research and a fair number of assumptions, 4 Star’s collections are curated based on a rich pool of customer feedback. It’s perhaps the e-commerce heavyweight’s most proficient use of data to date in its strategic push into bricks-and-mortar, allowing shelves to be filled with items that almost guarantee success, while most competitors continue to be burdened by inventory carrying costs.

The customer experience factor at play here is equally impressive. Any consumer technology company worth its salt innovates with a single overarching question in mind: “how can we make our customers’ lives easier?” Amazon’s consumer behavior insight is second-to-none, in this case recognizing customers’ habit of checking prices and ratings online before purchasing. 4 Star seamlessly relieves this urge and all of the inconveniences it may cause, such as the excruciating requirements for tapping into a store’s wifi.

Amazon’s marrying of the physical and digital realms of retail experience continues to excite and delight us at Innesco, and we’ll be keeping our eye on ripples caused in the wider retail industry. Indeed, Amazon’s ‘4 Star’ is much more than a one-stop shop for well-liked goods;  it’s the latest in a rapid stream of reminders that Amazon is the biggest disruptor in contemporary retail.

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