Amazon’s Data-Driven Brick-and-Mortar

Use online data to help manage local inventories.

Amazon is well-known for the havoc its online platform wreaked on the traditional bookstore model, but now it's turning a new page by opening its own brick-and-mortar store in Seattle. But unlike other traditional booksellers, Amazon plans to leverage its mountains of data from online sales to identify titles of interest for Seattle buyers.

And it's a tactic that distributors could leverage to improve their inventory management, as well.

Online shopping – even online window shopping – can tell a business a lot about its buyers and its potential buyers. What items are most looked at? Where are the people who look at it located? How much time do they spend on the items?

All of this information can be leveraged to identify products that you might not be carrying in certain branches right now. If many customers in Gary, IN, are viewing a certain widget on the website, maybe that widget should be readily available in the store.

This type of information is available even if you only have a searchable catalog without actual purchasing capability. Simple Google Analytics tracking can provide much of this insight. But you have to have someone with the right mindset and a plan for identifying the relevant data.

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.