What Can Nonprofits Learn from Amazon’s New Bookstores?

Did you know that Amazon opened a bookstore in November? You heard that right. The internet juggernaut that is largely responsible for the modern day bookstore extinction (thanks to 2-day shipping and the Kindle) has, yes, opened a bookstore.

And it’s not stopping there. Just last week Amazon announced that it has plans to open hundreds more.

Why would a company like Amazon open brick and mortar stores?

At first glance it seems illogical. Why would a business that’s proven that online shopping is profitable open up the type of stores it has put out of business? What’s the point of “going back?”

Amazon recognizes the importance of the multi-channel experience.

A customer can truly be wowed by Amazon when he has the opportunity to not only peruse best selling titles, read customer reviews, and make a 1-click purchase online, but also interface with friendly, engaging team members in person and enjoy the serenity of a clean and well-organized store. (Not to mention there’s just nothing like thumbing through the pages of an actual book, am I right?)

What Can Nonprofits Learn from Amazon’s New Bookstores?

In an article on Vox Matthew Yglesias points out how literal storefronts help the retailer: “Amazon prides itself on a value it calls ‘customer obsession,’ but lacking a physical presence means the company ends up with a somewhat limited view of what its customers look like and how they behave. A retail presence can help change that.”

With hundreds of retail stores Amazon is upping its “customer obsession” game. The multichannel experience is not only a great move on Amazon’s part, for nonprofits it’s also foundational to a truly integrated donor experience.

Do you have a fundraising strategy that takes into account the various touchpoints in which a donor will interact with your organization?

The importance of the integrated donor experience is especially true if you use a relationship fundraising approach. It’s a great reminder. People are multi-dimensional, so shouldn’t our outreach to them also be multi-dimensional?

To learn more about the relationship fundraising approach download the donor journey infographic and register for the upcoming free webinar on February 24 with Dr. Adrian Sargeant and Ian MacQuillan!

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