Demand prompted the opening of a Premium-Audio store

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The premium online audio store that Amazon quietly opened last October is increasing the company’s visibility in high-end audio, attracting new suppliers to Amazon, and reaching high-end consumers who don’t visit specialty stores , either because they lack time or live. too far.

This is how Amazon sees its latest online retail business (Amazon.com/premiumaudio), which it decided to launch after noticing that “customers were doing thousands of searches for premium brands. ”Said David Miller, director of audio and accessories. “The demand for premium audio products was driven by customers who increasingly relied on Amazon.com for product information, customer reviews, and research on these types of items.”

Expanding the premium selection and placing all types of premium audio products “in one convenient place” was “the next logical step,” he said.

Amazon.com customers “are interested in all types of audio products, and we will continue to expand our assortment at all price points,” he added. People “are more and more comfortable buying big ticket items on Amazon.com.”

One-stop shop: The store, he said, “has made it easy to find and buy premium audio products, from headphones to home theater systems, with detailed product information, buying guides, reviews. customers and recommendations “.

Suitable for high-end products, the store’s product detail pages feature an improved appearance and feature images of products and services, Miller said. For products that cost more than $ 3,000, he noted, white glove delivery and professional installation are included in the price.

Related: What’s in Amazon’s Premium Audio Store?

SKU extension: The store’s selection includes many products and brands previously offered by Amazon, but the store has added brands that have never been available before on Amazon.com or online, he said. “We now offer the World of Mcintosh brands (McIntosh, Sonus Faber, Pryma and Wadia) as well as more specialized premium audio brands such as Indy Audio Labs. Other brands new to Amazon include Devialet, Peachtree Audio, PS Audio and others.

Some brands, such as KEF, have expanded the number of products available through Amazon.

“Many manufacturers offer their full lines, and others choose for us to carry a selection of their products,” Miller added. “The decision is ultimately up to the manufacturer. “

Some brands and products are marketed by Amazon, while others are marketed on the site by 50 partners, mostly resellers but also Onkyo and KEF suppliers. Premium brands sold by third-party retailers include Cambridge Audio, PSB, and others.

All products sold by Amazon.com in the store are supplied by Amazon, which “sets its retail prices independently,” Miller said.

In total, over 80 audio electronics SKUs, over 250 speaker SKUs, and over 70 headphone SKUs are available in the store. Prices go up to $ 24,999 for a pair of KEF Blade Two speakers.

Configure, install: In addition to expanding the product selection, Amazon has expanded its setup and installation services with the launch of the store.

“Prior to launching the premium audio store, Amazon customers had configuration options through Amazon Home Services,” Miller said. “However, they were only available from certain providers in certain zip codes. With the launch of the premium audio store, we have partnered with national service providers to cover all of the United States and integrated the services of installation in the premium audio product detail pages, allowing customers to easily schedule installation services at checkout. “

In mid-2015, the company started offering installation services, but the number of installers and services increased with the launch of the premium audio store, the company added. Services include custom installation of architectural speakers and assembly of sound bars. “If a customer needs a more complex installation, they can discuss their needs with the installer before the appointment,” Miller said.

Live without demos: While mainstream retailers swear by the need for a demo, Amazon doesn’t think it’s hampered by the lack of demo capabilities. “In the past, an audio demo seemed essential, like seeing the screen resolution on a TV,” Miller said. “However, customers trust professional online reviews, customer reviews and the words of their friends. Many of these sources are likely to bring customers to Amazon.com before they go to a reseller.

Getting to a dealership can also be difficult, he added.

“I lived in Cincinnati and was really interested in listening to the GoldenEar speakers,” he recalls. “There was only one store that offered them in the area and, once I finally got to visit them – they were closed on Sundays – they only had the Triton Seven in stock, which didn’t It wasn’t the model I was looking for. I ended up buying something else. We pride ourselves on providing customers with the most choice and the most convenient shopping experience, and that extends to premium audio customers.


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