Here’s an octet of novel ways Amazon has influenced our lives. We’ll leave Amazon Go off the list for the time being because it’s so new. But it’s possible that it’ll find a home here shortly.
Not only did Amazon provide rapid and free (aside from the yearly subscription cost, of course) shipping on thousands of things with Prime, but they also created an expectation of fast and free shipping from every other firm. It is now a disappointment for Amazon customers when they purchase something online from anyone and do not receive it within two days. That is not just good business, but also terrific marketing.
There’s also Amazon’s wise decision to tie its streaming video service to Prime, which (1) adds value for customers and (2) gives individuals an incentive to use Amazon’s streaming service, view their original content, and set the stage for the company’s future growth.
2. PRIME NOW
Amazon, never one to rest on its laurels, is working hard to make shipping even faster for its consumers. Prime Now, which is presently only accessible in a few places but is rapidly growing, allows people to obtain some Amazon purchases in two hours for free or in one hour for $7.99.
3. PRIME AIR
Prime Air, which is still in development, has the potential to be a game-changer, allowing customers to have their orders delivered in 30 minutes or less by drones that drop them at your door. Yes, flying robots will deliver your packages as soon as you place your order. The future is approaching quickly.
4. ONE-CLICK PURCHASES
We often take advances like one-click purchasing for granted… until we visit another retail website and have to fill out various forms and navigate through multiple pages to place an order. Amazon has tremendously streamlined the ordering procedure to make it as quick and straightforward as possible.
5. DASH BUTTON
A small but clever and useful improvement. Amazon dash buttons are a physical representation of Amazon’s one-click ordering service. You can purchase one for $5 for big brands and then simply click it anytime you wish to reorder that item, and voila! your order is placed.
While voice-assisted technology isn’t quite there yet, Amazon’s voice-responding virtual assistant is assisting in its advancement. With the Amazon Echo, Tap, and Dot, Amazon is introducing consumers to this technology while also attempting to capture a market share (versus competitors like Google and Apple). Alexa, Amazon’s speech assistant, is fantastic at doing Amazon stuff (placing orders, finding music, etc.). And she can hear and respond to voice orders from across a noisy room at regular volume, which is rather astounding.
E-books were stalling before the Kindle. Readers and content were present, but they were not making an impact. Then Amazon provided individuals with a quick, simple, and affordable way to purchase books, and the medium took off. Amazon grabbed control of the e-book business by aiming to put a Kindle in the hands of as many people as possible at a low price, becoming the destination for acquiring content. It’s an old business trick: you don’t earn money on the razor, you make money on the blades.
8. CLOUD COMPUTING
Amazon created its cloud computing platform, in the beginning, to make the company’s web services function faster and smarter. They’ve also created a sizable industry supplying these services to other businesses. According to the New York Times, Amazon’s Web Services are significantly more profitable than its North American retail division, with “earnings from A.W.S. representing 56 percent of Amazon’s overall operating revenue” in the first quarter of 2016.