> THE FACT
Given that it doesn’t have its own stores, Amazon recently announced that it intends to generalize the installation of collection lockers in ‘brick and mortar’ retail outlets for products ordered on its site. The company pays the outlets for housing the lockers and the shops will also benefit from the extra traffic brought in by the lockers. The initiative, which began in the United States at the end of 2012 at Staples, (mass consumer electronic products), will be adopted in Europe by the food chain Spar.
> THE ANALYSIS
As well as being further proof of the way ‘virtual’ commerce (which is seeking added visibility) is moving closer towards ‘real’ commerce (which is seeking more modernity) Amazon’s initiative can be seen as the emerging sign of a new organisation of commerce. After ‘shops in the shops’, here are ‘lockers in the shops’ as a means for web traders to be present in stores. Amazon’s lockers are neither parcel pick up points (which tend to be in independent trade outlets or specific establishments), nor drive-by shopping pick up points (which are separate from the shops themselves) and therefore represent a new consumption process. So, in the future, consumers will enter shops without necessarily intending to buy something but simply to collect a purchase made elsewhere. This is an unexpected ‘cross-channel’ solution that gives consumers a new reason to visit shops.