Amazon Fashion pop-up store
Amazon Fashion is opening their first ever pop-up store for fashion on Baker Street in London on Monday. The pop-up store is advertised as '5 days and 5 nights of inspiration'. It will be Amazon's first store in Europe, a 3,000 sq ft space that will offer men’s and women’s wear from a selection of its own labels alongside brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Filippa K and Vans. The temporary opening follows the debut of Amazon Fashion’s store in New York that launched last month.
Each day will see a curation of its in-store collections edited with a different theme, fashion, activities and experiences, with its full offer available via Amazon Fire tablets found in-store or online. Amazon’s personal stylists will be on hand to speak with customers.
Different brands are hosting events at the store throughout the day and in the evening. For example on Tuesday, Pepe Jeans will be doing a denim customisation, offering surprise prizes and a DJ set. And on Thursday, Vogue are hosting a beauty panel led by Vogue's Lifestyle and Beauty Director alongside influencers Estee Lalonde and Chinutay.
As part of Amazon’s omnichannel retail approach, items can be bought in the store, scanned via the Amazon app (using their Smile QR code) and sent to another address or Amazon locker.
To promote the pop-up store Amazon is running ads across their website and app. If you click on the banner, you are taken to a landing page where you can find out about the events, book tickets, browse the collections of the sponsor brands and get directions to the store.
Echo smart doorbells and cameras
Amazon is introducing some new software tools allowing developers to connect smart cameras and doorbells to Echo devices. Smart doorbells can now ping all Echo devices to make an announcement, alerting you to a visitor or transmitting a message. The Motion Sensor API reports on the state of endpoints, which is useful for security cameras and could let the devices detect movement in a given area. It is expected that smart locks will also follow suit, enabling the user to open and close doors from their Echo devices.
Third-party devices will also support the new APIs, and devices from Ring, which Amazon previously acquired in February this year, already have implemented the technology.
This move by Amazon keeps them ahead in the race to win the smart home battle with Google and Apple.
Watch & Shop
Amazon is continually exploring new ways to improve the browse functionality of their platform. Their aim is to enhance their appeal as a shopping, rather than a replenishment, destination.
This year, In-app widgets have become commonplace on the Amazon app. Thumb through your app now and you will see widgets for gifts, seasonal offers (e.g.halloween) and startup products.
In the US, they have further enhanced the browsing xperience with the launch of a new widget called 'Watch & Shop'. Accessible from the mobile homepage, 'Watch & Shop' is a video shopping experience that connects shoppers with unique and innovative products. By selecting one of the four genre options in the widget (e.g. new arrivals) you are presented with a selection of videos that showcase new products. Below each video is a lightbox which you can interact with to find out more or place an order.
Video is becoming more prevalent as a communication medium across the Amazon platform to sell and showcase products. Consequently, It is now essential for brands to include short, informative and engaging videos in their Amazon content toolkit.
More UK jobs across three cities
Amazon has said the UK will be “taking a leading role in global innovation” as it announced plans to hire 1,000 more technology, research and other skilled workers across 3 locations by next year.
Amazon will open their first office in Manchester, with room for 600 new jobs in the Hanover Building in the city’s Northern Quarter – once the headquarters of the Co-operative Group. Amazon said the new Manchester team would work on research and development, including software development and machine learning.
The company is also expanding its offices in Cambridge, where technicians work on the group’s Alexa digital personal assistant system, drone development and other Amazon devices. Amazon is making room for 180 new roles in Cambridge
In the latest phase of Amazon’s UK expansion, the firm said it was also creating space for 250 more high-skilled roles in Edinburgh, where it is taking three floors of the Waverley Gate building.
This move by Amazon highlights the commitment Amazon is making to the UK as a base for innovation, a benefit usually confined to Silicon Valley.