What It’s Like To Order A Drink At Amazon’s Menuless Pop-Up Bar

What It’s Like To Order A Drink At Amazon’s Menuless Pop-Up Bar
Advertising

The bartender and menu are replaced with a 'choose your own adventure' type of digital questionnaire

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 26 october 2017

Amazon is looking to expand online alcohol sales in Japan. The digital retailer opened a physical pop-up bar in Tokyo to promote the service. The Amazon Bar was located in Ginza, Tokyo and ran for just over a week. We had a chance to visit and report back on what the experience was like.

The site of the Amazon Bar was in a gallery space in a recently built high-rise. There was a short check-in and orientation session where staff explained the unique drink ordering process.

Once past the reception area, there was a circular room lined with wooden cases stocked with bottles of liquor, whiskey and wine. In the center was a round order station outfitted with a number of touchscreen tablets. These served essentially as digital bar tenders but instead of directly ordering a drink, the program asked a series of questions.

At the start of the ordering session, you could select a category of alcohol you wanted to drink, e.g. wine, whiskey or sake. From there, questions ranged from current mood to foods you were craving at that moment.

At the end of the half-dozen or so questions, you were given a recommendation based on your answers and several alternates to choose from. At this point, you could print out a receipt and a reference slip offering online ordering details of that specific brand of alcohol.

Once the drink was paid for at a cashier desk, you were escorted to either a standing or sit-down table. Samples of prosciutto and Pocky chocolate crackers (an odd combination) were delivered along with the drink selection. There was also an additional menu for ordering snacks and a few other tablet stations for selecting more drinks.

The interior was fairly spare with the main feature being the curving ‘liquor cabinet’ that divided the space. Additionally, there was a small stage for live music performances.

So what were the positives of the Amazon Bar experience? The ordering process was interesting and not having to fight for the attention of an overwhelmed bar tender was nice. The ability to sample something new based on your current mood was also intriguing.

Is Amazon looking to make the traditional bar obsolete? Not really, since the Tokyo pop-up geared toward advertising. There were some issues with this experience. For one, the recommendation screen on the tablet didn’t really explain why the selection was relevant to you or what to look out for in terms of taste.

The seating space within the interior wasn’t conducive to generating a buzz. It felt more like a restaurant with everyone sticking close to their own tables and not mingling. It might be due to a cultural difference in Japan, but having a large communal table or looser table layout might have made the space feel more friendly for experience sharing and socializing.

Representatives at the space that evening said the response to the Amazon Bar pop-up was strong, with long lines forming each night. They said there is a chance Amazon might stage the bar in another city, possibly outside of Japan.

Amazon Bar


Images: Dave Pinter

Amazon is looking to expand online alcohol sales in Japan. The digital retailer opened a physical pop-up bar in Tokyo to promote the service. The Amazon Bar was located in Ginza, Tokyo and ran for just over a week. We had a chance to visit and report back on what the experience was like.

+advertising
+alcohol
+amazon
+Asia
+bar
+Brand Introduction
+experiential marketing
+food & beverage
+japan
+pop-ups
+retail
+technology
+tokyo
+work

Learn About Our Membership Services

Need Research Help?
As a member you can ask us any research questions and get complimentary research assistance with a 4-day turnaround. Reports inclde stats, quotes, and best-inclass examples on research topics.
Remain Informed & Strategic
We publish several trends reports each month. By becoming a member you will have access to over 100 existing reports, plus a growing catalog of deep topical analysis and debrief-style reports so you always remain in the know.
See Trends Come To Life
Meet your peers and immerse yourself in monthly trend and innovation webinars and discounted conferences.
No search results found.