Amazon 4-Star Store

What Amazon’s New 4-Star SoHo Store Can Teach Fashion Retailers About the Power of Reviews

In What's New, Profiles by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Amazon 4-Star Store

Photo: Amazon

Amazon has just opened its Amazon 4-Star store, a brick and mortar store in SoHo, NY selling only items with four-star (or higher) reviews. The idea is to only present top sellers to the community, so everyone can feel confident in their purchases. In essence, Amazon doesn’t curate the selection, the general public does. This is retail crowdsourcing at its finest.

Amazon 4-Star Store

Amazon 4-Star Store. Photo: JORDAN STEAD/Amazon

The store is organized by features like “Most-Wished-For,” a collection of products that are most added to Amazon.com Wish Lists; “Trending Around NYC,” hot products that NYC-area customers are buying on Amazon.com; “Frequently Bought Together”; and “Amazon Exclusives.” There were also “Daily Deals.” At press time, the average rating of all the products in Amazon 4-star is 4.4 stars, and collectively, the products in store have earned more than 1.8 million 5-star customer reviews.

Amazon 4-Star Store

Digital displays beneath each product show the number of reviews. Photo: Amazon

The areas are accented with customer review cards with quotes from actual customer reviews, and digital displays beneath each product show the number of reviews and total star ratings. It is updated in real time

LESSONS FOR FASHION RETAILERS?

While Amazon’s 4-Star store might not seem like the most likely spot for fashion inspiration, there are lessons to be learned for fashion retailers. Namely, reviews count!

Online fashion retailers strongly rely on popularity to help sell items on their e-commerce sites and social media From Most Popular filters to basic star ratings and comments that give others feedback on style and fit, reviews are the word of mouth of the digital age. Social media sites that measure “likes” and record comments like Instagram and Facebook give consumers and retailers real-time feedback on featured items. Retailers and brands would be wise to hashtag such items #bestsellers when posting.

For retailers with both a digital and physical presence, maybe there’s also a way to use the digital reviews in store.  Grouping Most Popular or Trending items together, and calling them out with signage, can help indecisive customers. Showing reviews in the store is another way.

BUT DON’T NEW YORKERS SET THE TRENDS?

The fact that Amazon opened its review-driven store in the trendy neighborhood of Soho is a bit ironic, however.

True or not, New Yorkers like to think they set the trends, not follow what the rest of the country is doing. And for those who shop Amazon’s household, baby or gadgets driven by online reviews (guilty as charged), do we really want to be reminded in a store that they have the same exact things as everyone else?

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