Amazon pop-up gets the Good Housekeeping seal of approval

Discussion
Rendering: GH Lab
Oct 10, 2018
Tom Ryan

Good Housekeeping is partnering with Amazon.com on a holiday pop-up store at the Mall of America. The selections are curated by the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), the women’s magazine’s product testing unit.

Good Housekeeping, which was founded in 1885, launched GHI in 1900 to support the “tried and tested” reviews that run in the publication. GHI is best known for rewarding the Good Housekeeping Seal on select advertiser’s products.

The GH Lab in the Mall of America will offer one item from each of the more than 40 categories that were tested and recommended by the GHI. The 2,800-square-foot store is designed with different “rooms” to help shoppers visualize products within their own homes. Shoppers are able to “interact with the smart home tech live before buying, try out kitchen appliances, see new releases from favorite brands, play with the hottest toys and games and sample the best of beauty,” according to a statement.

No merchandise is available to take home. Shoppers instead open their Amazon app and scan the SmileCode on any item they want to purchase to have it delivered. Scanning the QR code also provides access to information about the item. 

Rendering: GH Lab

Amazon is also hosting an online boutique of “GH Tested” merchandise, including a selection of items earning the Good Housekeeping Seal. New products will be regularly introduced over the next three months, including special online-only items.

Said Jane Francisco, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping, in a statement, “Everything in the store has been carefully curated and vetted by GH experts — so shoppers will not only be excited by the fabulous finds but leave with confidence in their purchases.”

Since the store is curated by Good Housekeeping’s “top scientists, chemists, engineers and tech experts,” GH Lab offers a different take from Amazon 4-star, Amazon’s store that just opened in lower Manhattan. The Amazon store only features items rated four stars or above by Amazon’s online reviewers, and merchandise is available to take home. 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of GH lab and its “tried and tested,” one-item-per-category proposal? Is a store curated by testing experts any more or less appealing than one featuring customer reviewers?

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12 Comments on "Amazon pop-up gets the Good Housekeeping seal of approval"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

While showing shoppers items rated by other consumers is smart, it always runs the risk of groupthink. It can also create a very fragmented proposition with little cohesion. Having curation done by an independent organization is smart in that it may expose shoppers to more unusual products that they would not otherwise have discovered.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

This could prove to be a magical formula of curated assortments, experiential retail, and a forum to build customer relationships in the Mall of America for the Good Housekeeping team. In addition, the pop-up, inventory-less format and the online marketplace partnership with Amazon’s vast ecosystem is a winning combination.

Good Housekeeping is also providing a forum and testing ground for perhaps lesser-known but high quality and recommended lifestyle brands. Consumers have historically enjoyed the opportunity to try, test and experience things with the product before making any purchase decisions.

The clear winners in this scenario is once again Amazon, but also Good Housekeeping, who with this physical presence ignites its relevance but also provides the scale and visibility for emerging brands.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

We live in a world that runs on reviews, we buy things we see on reality TV, and we are infatuated with cooking, decor and maker shows, so what’s not to like about a store that’s merchandised with Good Housekeeping “tried and tested” product? Especially when you can try and test it yourself?

The Mall of America is the perfect place to test this pop-up. And I like the one item in each category concept, especially during the holidays when choice can be overwhelming for some shoppers. This idea is intriguing. I see another road trip to the MOA in our future…

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

My only additional 2 cents would be the age factor. Do young people even know who Good Housekeeping is and would they agree on what Good Housekeeping calls “tried and tested”? Personally, I didn’t even know that Good Housekeeping was still placing their “Stamp of Approval” on things.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

I think they do; it’s on a lot of packaging. Younger generations rely on reviews. At a recent focus group with young adults, Consumer Reports ratings came up. They research online before they buy.

Anne Howe
BrainTrust

Narrow, curated assortments are great for many shoppers, but I wish there were two choices or a clear good/better/best option. I believe the sales could potentially be way better on a per square foot basis.

Liz Adamson
Guest

The GH pop-up store and the new 4-star store are each exploring very different formats. The GH store highly curated from one primary category with a showroom, inventory-less format, and the 4-star store also curated using the review criteria, but with much less cohesion. The GH store will bring in more dedicated traffic, shoppers looking for home goods, while the 4-star store may bring more curiosity at first as shoppers try to figure out what kinds of products are available. The inventory-less format will be interesting; some customers may not want to wait for shipping or open an Amazon account if they don’t want one. On the other hand it could be a great play to bring in even more customers into the Amazon marketplace.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Certainly brings me back to Underwriters Labs (UL) or EnergyStar Compliant. Ratings like these — independent or otherwise — are great for consumers, and GH Lab adds their credibility to the mix. Curation is just as good as customer reviews, and either combined or in lieu of them, provides a solid set of decision support points to help customers choose. The only problem — comparison. Shoppers won’t have a comparison point for products physically, so even with the high quality rating, they won’t jump to buy higher end products like table sets or costly appliances.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
BrainTrust

This is an interesting use for pop-ups and a great vehicle to promote Amazon as a leader in the Smart Home space.

Brian Numainville
BrainTrust

Reviews are certainly a part of today’s shopping experience and products curated by “experts” may be interesting to shoppers in this context. The question is whether or not Good Housekeeping is still relevant to younger generations. I certainly have not heard the term used among younger shoppers very often. But it may provide a great opportunity to see if it resonates across all generations of shoppers and the MOA is a solid place to test this out.

Kenneth Leung
BrainTrust

The great thing about a pop-up is that it is a low-cost, low-risk testing ground. It is the closest thing to A/B testing on the web that you can do in the physical world. Amazon could choose to have the curation done in-house or partner with a respected third party. I don’t see any downside for Amazon to try this.

Michael Decker
Guest

This strategic partnership between Amazon and the Grande Dame of CPG, the Good Housekeeping Institute is great to see. It’s purely symbiotic with the Good Housekeeping seal gaining relevance online (with new generational grocery shoppers) and Amazon continuing to bolster their presence in the physical world while boosting Mall of America. This is a well thought-out and seamless pop-up retail partnership spanning two business channels and multiple generations. Win-Win-Win

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