The place relies heavily on the art of the book covers and, as expected, on the reviews of Amazon customers online. Everything in the store is meant to drive readers back to the website, which feels odd in a lot of ways; but, that’s part of the plan. We’ve had dozens of brick-and-mortar establishments which have used the web to drive in-store traffic. We’ve had none who’ve used the brick-and-mortar experience to drive people back to the web.
That sounds like a crazy plan, but it works–at least on me. I’ve bought books online that I’ve seen in the store because I didn’t want the inconvenience of carrying them home. Amazon wants a synergy between the real world and online life that is as natural as breathing. They’ll try everything they can think of to create that synergy. The question is, can they sustain it?