4 Ways Amazon Is Remaking the World in Its Image

Amazon’s impact on commerce is impossible to ignore. The pioneering e-tailer has nearly perfected the arts of e-commerce and logistics to bring customers the shop-from-anywhere experience we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago. But a flurry of announcements and acquisitions have signaled the next stage in its plan for world domination.

In order to make the savings more accessible, Amazon customers on government assistance will be able to get Prime for half price.

"Shut up and take my money!" Is this how you buy marketing tech?The move is not expected to lead to high profits or a spike in sales, but it cuts into Amazon’s number one retail rival, Walmart, by making one of Amazon’s biggest differentiators available to exactly the kind of customers fueling Walmart’s online success.

4. Enabling and Disabling Showrooming

At the same time it was announcing the acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon also dropped a remake of its Dash device.

The Amazon Dash Wand is a dedicated showrooming device.
The Amazon Dash Wand is a dedicated showrooming device.

The Dash connects with your smartphone to allow you to scan a barcode in a store and immediately add that item to your Amazon cart. The new version, Dash Wand, incorporates Alexa voice recognition. So you can showroom without the inconvenience of waving your showrooming device around in front of potentially offendable store employees.

But wait! In a Hall-of-Fame-worthy moment of irony, Amazon has also patented techn that would allow it to shut down showrooming in its own stores! If you didn’t catch Melissa Ward’s blog post all about that yesterday, give it a read.

The Future According to Amazon

Tech savvy womanAs Conor Sen said in a recent Bloomberg opinion piece, “Amazon’s real target isn’t Whole Foods, it’s everything you buy.”

And it’s not just about trying to make sure you do that shopping with Amazon, Amazon wants to remake how you do all your shopping into the format it’s best at: Online shopping from highly optimized distribution centers.

Sure, Amazon has launched an IRL book store experiment. But even these reflect the streamlined, algorithm-optimized, Internet-reliant experience Amazon does so well. CNBC likened them to airport bookstores rather than the library-meets-coffee shop vibe of Barnes and Nobles (which are closing at an alarming rate already).

Every company claims to look to the future, and most would say they’re shaping it. But few are imprinting their vision on the future to the extent of Amazon. That vision would bring almost all shopping into your home, enabled by connected devices, AI personal assistants and super streamlined logistics. And the effects of that would go beyond Amazon, forcing other stores out of business or to enable Amazon’s vision.

So if you think Amazon has changed the shopping world already, just wait, because this new salvo of innovation could change the way you do business forever.

Author: Thorin McGee

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

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