When it comes to e-commerce, there is simply no other company quite like Amazon. In its 22 years, the retail giant hasn’t lost it’s footing. The company has only expanded into nearly every sector of industry. From books, to music, to apparel and electronics, Amazon doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon. In fact, according to CEO Jeff Bezos, the company is all about evolving. It will even tear down it’s own infrastructure to create new and better products and services. Amazon has literally increased it’s reach across the world, becoming the biggest e-commerce company in India, and dipping into the Middle East. It added it’s own private labels, created original series on its video-on-demand service, and even created a video game studio. The behemoth of a company is looking to rule the world as we know it, and that’s all thanks to the cutting-edge strategies Amazon takes to keep its crown.The following takes a look at there current innovations that have changed the landscape of e-commerce along with what’s next.
Evolution of Amazon: 2010 – Present
In the last bunch of years, Amazon has acquired a massive amount of companies to join its operations. It created the Kindle E-reader and introduced Amazon studios to start creating its own TV and movies. It then continued to improve on the e-reader while also acquiring more companies and creating new strategies. One of its most pervasive strategies is its increased shipping speed, for Prime members. Not long ago one would have to wait days for a transaction to be completed, but Amazon has upgraded to two hour delivery and even thirty minute delivery by drone. This has all occcured due to Jeff Bezos’ vision of continuous evolution.
From the beginning, Amazon has made the goal to focus on customers and to provide them with everything they could ever need or want. When in 2011, Amazon sold more e-books than paper books, it invested more in Kindle. It continued to do so until it was beating out Apple’s iPod as leading e-reader. Later on when e-commerce was turned to grocers as the last new frontier, Amazon secured Whole Foods to compete. Over the years, the website has gone through different make overs to reflect changes in the company from book store to everything store.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the current Amazon innovations in place:
- Amazon Key
- Cloud Cam
- Amazon Home Services
- Dash Button
- Prime Fashion
Amazon is definitely not stopping its steamroller motion any time soon. With all this innovation comes constant transitions and changes within structure and new operations. Some such changes include, Amazon Key. This service allows couriers to enter a home to drop off packages instead of leaving them on a doorstep. It uses the cloud cam with a compatible smart lock to give access. This comes as a home security bundle, a sector of business that Amazon wants to break into as well. In addition to this, there’s Amazon Home Services which intends to partner with dog walking companies and house cleaning services.
Another new item in Amazon’s repertoire is the Dash Button. It’s a small device which you can stick anywhere around your home and click on to order items you might be running low on. Each Dash Button corresponds with a specific product, so you have to buy several at their price of $5.
According to statistics, 70% of Americans with an income of $150,000 or more have Prime. With Amazon expanding its reach into groceries, the company has made a real incentive for people to go into Whole Foods.
This is especially true for those with Prime. They get a 5% cash back benefit for Amazon credit card holders. Prime members also get a 10% discount and free shipping of their orders. Beyond Amazon’s Whole Food’s acquisition, Prime membership comes with a slew of other perks. There’s unlimited music streaming, movie streaming, game streaming, unlimited photo storage, prime reading, as well as Thursday night football. There are also a multitude of shipping perks, such as free same day delivery, two day delivery, and two hour delivery. There’s even delivery to your car. Prime members also get exclusive fashion and house hold brands that are unavailable outside of the program.
According to Forbes, Amazon plans to install lockers not only at businesses, but now at residences as well. It wants to change the way in which we ship and receive our items. This would replace mail boxes and eliminate or lower the likelihood of damaging products.
In a similar way to streamline its business, Amazon has implemented the use of robots in its facilities. Warehouses now use robots to do much of the moving around of packages. Employees have been relegated to either do robot maintenance or to do other more stimulating work. The idea was that the robots would do all the monotonous tasks. Perhaps jumping off from this, Amazon apparently also has plans to place robots in homes as well. The prototypes so far can navigate through homes and have sensors which allow them to see, but their use is still under wraps.
Much like its shift to brick-and-mortar acquisition with Whole Foods, Amazon is still working on its Amazon Go stores. With these cashier-less and supposedly queue-less shops, Amazon is showing how e-commerce can be both physical and virtual. The company is looking to create a middle ground which can likely revolutionize the way in which we consider ecommerce. Other businesses are looking into it as well, but considering that Amazon is the biggest name in the ecommerce industry, they’ll be likely to do it first.
Amazon also wants to get into the Health Care industry. It’s poised to seriously disrupt the field. It would be free from profit making, as it already creates revenue through shopping. Social networking, user experience, and artificial intelligence can all come into play to create a new kind of health plan.
In order to stay ahead of everyone else, Amazon must remain doing what it’s doing. It needs to keep evolving and make it’s goal of selling everything. The truth is, aside from perhaps Walmart, the ecommerce giant has little to worry about. Competing against Amazon is futile. With it’s influence in nearly every aspect of industry, it’s hard to see how Amazon can fall behind. The very core of its foundation drives from innovation and that innovation pushes forward to do more. After all, it’s main goal is to be customer-centric and to be the place to find anything. In order to do that, Amazon must stay with the times and be ahead of it.