Amazon Continues to Amaze
Retail sales on the Internet continue to accelerate. Consumer devices and technologies continue to grow and offer shoppers ever increased access to convenience in purchasing the goods and services of which they dream.
Brick and mortar companies expect/hope for a healthy rise in sales for the upcoming holiday season and tinker with the challenge of whether/when to open on Thanksgiving Day. Leading Internet-based retailers have long boasted that this is a non-issue for them. They are open for business every moment of the year.
Amazon is seen as being at the vanguard of this among many trends. Indeed Amazon seems to constantly come out with new ideas and innovations which increase its likelihood for success.
In addition to being a leading-edge dynamic retailer, Amazon seems to be continually innovating in retailing efficiencies and concepts in terms of product variety, price, services and customer loyalty. Amazon has shown itself to be incredibly technically proficient in producing new products and leading-edge efficiencies in its supply chain.
The company’s Kindle e-readers and tablets are among the most popular on the market. This, while competitor Barnes & Noble has virtually had to abandon its Nook e-reader division and surrender most of what’s left of these products to be designed and manufactured by Samsung.
Amazon’s online marketplace, which allows a multitude of independent vendors to sell through Amazon’s state-of-the-art website, has initiated a copycat trend among many old-line traditional brick and mortars operators. This third-party market place is currently in the minds of many retailers who have yet to institute such a program.
Amazon Prime is the loyalty program most envied by both traditional and new-order retailers. Within this program Amazon continues to incorporate additional perks beyond free shipping for its annual fee.
Amazon Prime has become so successful that wealthy competitors, including Walmart and Target, seek to emulate it. However, Amazon’s technical proficiency continues to ramp up rewards for paid-for Prime Membership. Few companies can dream of offering movie and TV downloads as a member’s reward.
Most loyalty programs offer discounts or points for a free membership. Amazon gains revenue from its Prime membership fee and if free shipping isn’t enough reward for consumers, customers can take advantage of free movies and TV shows as part of membership. Here Amazon also offers access to its own stable of Amazon-produced, critically, acclaimed shows.
Amazon has gotten a leg up on virtually all retail competition through its acquisition and use of robotic technologies for its supply chain. Its distribution centers continuously improve on its ultra-modern system of robotics and the resulting efficiencies.
Amazon’s latest holy grail is the search for same day delivery, even same hour delivery. This search is of course designed to ultimately offer shoppers something near the instant gratification enjoyed regularly by brick and mortars, as they leave stores with their purchase, eager to immediately use, try and eat the goodies they just acquired.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s rightly renowned founder and guiding force, seems to maintain the sensible, innovative brilliance he relies on daily to continue to aggressively grow Amazon. Two years ago, when a stunned national media reacted to Mr. Bezos purchase of The Washington Post, many in and out of the business assumed he had made the purchase to install his personal philosophy into the acclaimed newspaper’s editorial content. As it turns out he has done nothing of the sort. In fact, many journalists thank Mr. Bezos for maintaining jobs at the Post during a time when many newspapers are failing or at least cash strapped, in this new era of the 24/7 news cycle.
What’s next for Amazon? Despite initial Federal denial of Amazon’s desire to offer home-delivery through a fleet of Amazon drones, it seems that ultimately Jeff Bezos may well prevail. Appropriate federal agencies have opened their blind eyes on the matter and communications are encouraging.