Where do you go to shop for products with a cheaper price, conveniently shoppable on smart devices, and can get it in 2 days or less? If you answered Amazon, you are correct. Amazon came on the e-commerce scene in 1995. The brand first started off as a bookstore and since then sells products for your home, yourself, your wedding, and let’s face it, anything else you can think of they have it and if they don’t, please rest assure they will have it sooner than later.
Lately Amazon has been in the news for their big purchase announcements and other innovative things they have been working on. First on the list to talk about today is Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. This came as a shocker to some and others simply was waiting on it since Amazon opened Amazon Go, a "no line, no checkout" way of shopping for food. With Amazon Go, shoppers are able to enter into the store using their Amazon Go app grab the items they want and then walk out without the hassle and frustrations of waiting in line and/or checking out.
Okay back to this Whole Food purchase. Amazon purchased Whole Foods for a whopping $13.4 billion dollars! Whole Foods has been the leading pioneer of offering fresh USDA approved organic groceries and other products at high quality and those oh so high prices, but lately grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Costco has been catching up to the retailer with the shift in consumers knowledge of the effects of eating and using chemical based products and the demand for more eco-friendly, organic products.. This purchase is two-folds: on Whole Foods end, Amazon is helping them to navigate their products in a technology driven world while also reducing their prices without sacrificing their high quality products which Whole Foods has been known for since it started in 1978. For Amazon, they have been trying to push their brick and mortar presence because, as mentioned above, when they initially started they were seen and portrayed as a brand who sells to consumers directly from the comfort of their home or wherever they have access to the site.
Next, Amazon Prime Wardrobe. Prime Wardrobe allows customers to order at least three clothing items up to 15 items at a time without purchasing it. Customers only get charged for what they keep and if “try before you buy” isn’t enough, for those that keep four items they will receive 10% off their total price and if five or more items are kept the customer will receive 20% off the total price. Are you enticed to try it yet? For any unwanted items, customers can ship them back to the store with a prepaid shipping label enclosed in the order. Prime Wardrobe, as the name hints, is only available to Amazon Prime members. Members will have up to seven days to try on the items and return anything unwanted. Amazon has been doing well in the apparel sector and with Amazon Prime, customers have been allowed to shop for apparel and accessories receive them in two days with free shipping and no hassle returns for unwanted items. Prime Wardrobe is the next big service they are offering their customers to help alleviate the biggest online shopping problem of sizing and fit while still allowing millennials and gen. z the comfortability of shopping from home.
Lastly of today's fashion news, Amazon Prime Day. Amazon Pride Day started in 2015, when the brand wanted to celebrate their 20th anniversary. After seeing the success and revenue generated they decided to do it again in 2016 to see if the same would happen. Now on Amazon Day 2017, Amazon saw more than a 60% growth in sales and a significant amount of Amazon Prime membership signups. Those apart of the prime membership are the only shoppers that can take advantage of the deals. What caused Amazon to see such a significant jump in sales? Possibly due to the fact that this wasn’t their first go round and the sale lasted for 30 hours instead of 24 hours and they allowed Prime Day to be accessible globally.
With this brief overview of what Amazon has been up to in the past 2 years, Amazon has taught me a lot. Will they become a conglomerate? I doubt it. I don’t think they are necessarily trying to take over the world; however, I feel like they have people on their team that understand how technology have put the purchasing power into the hands of the consumer and they want to help consumers shop smarter and shop cheaper. I do think they have contributed to people having a stigma of what the distribution cycle is and how it functions causing a ripple effect of store closures and bankruptcy in the retail industry as a whole. They found a way to let shoppers click 'buy now' from anywhere they can access the internet and their site and get it in 2 days sometimes less if the customer lives near a drone site.
In studying Amazon and analyzing what they have done from 1995 until now, I gathered that it is a smart idea to start with one product, but not just one product--start with an idea based off one product then figure out a way to make that experience the best experience for the customer. Listen to what the customers are saying they like while also taking into account what they don’t like and figure out how to make the experience better and easier so they can tell their friends. With Amazon it’s not just about the experience either. It’s about the convenience, the fast pace of getting a product in the same amount of time it would take to get in the car, drive to the store, shop for the product, wait in line, then finally come back home with the same product and at a significantly cheaper price tag.
Kudos to you Amazon. I’m a millennial that’s not a Prime Member and only use your service every blue moon when I want cheaper items, but after doing some research on your business strategy I may pay that $99 annually in order to get firsthand experience on your business model. Thank you for reminding of my 2017 Mantra: Start Small to Win Big!
What are your thoughts on Amazon? Amazon Prime, if you're member? If you're not a member, do you plan on getting a membership? Why or why not? Do you think they will eventually become a conglomerate and take over the world? Leave me comments below and let me know what you want me to cover in the next segment of Fashion Business.
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Hartmans, Avery. "15 fascinating facts you probably didn't know about Amazon." Business Insider. Business Insider, 09 Apr. 2017. Web. 14 July 2017.
Thomas, Lauren. "Amazon Prime Day breaks record; sales grew by more than 60 percent." CNBC. CNBC, 12 July 2017. Web. 14 July 2017. <http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/12/amazon-prime-day-breaks-record-event-grew-by-more-than-60-percent.html>.
Wingfield, Nick. "Amazon Will Let Customers Try On Clothes Before Buying." The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 June 2017. Web. 14 July 2017. <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/business/amazon-shopping-retail-fashion.html>.
Wingfield, Nick, and Michael J. De La Merced. "Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.4 Billion." The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 June 2017. Web. 14 July 2017.