Updated from Feb. 22 to include news of a new bookstore opening.
Just this week Amazon confirmed that it will be opening up its second physical bookstore, this time at a Westfield UTC mall in San Diego.
While it's unclear what Amazon's strategy truly is when it comes to brick and mortar, experts are pretty sure it's not really about the sales.
Amazon Books gives the e-commerce giant a way to play around with physical retail and experiment, while gaining insight and analytics into the channel. The company probably isn't expecting a profit boost from brick and mortar any time soon.
"It's at the moment one store that's an experiment and their metrics for success likely won't have anything to do with sales though that could be a nice bonus if it happens to deliver sales," said Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.
As physical retailers are increasingly tapping into the online channel, it only makes sense that Amazon guards its turf by venturing into the physical channel.
"It's indicative of this move to omnichannel," said ABI Research analyst Patrick Connolly. "The last ten years in retail it's been bricks and mortar versus online. Now we're moving to omnichannel, you have to be across all channels. So now everybody is in the same boat. All of a sudden, having bricks and mortar is an advantage."
And Amazon's not the only one catching onto this shift. Startups like Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Birchbox have been venturing into brick and mortar retail, as well as online jewelry company Blue Nile (NILE) , which has been testing physical stores and plans to open up even more.