When Amazon started out in 1998, no one expected the start-up to become such an e-commerce innovation.
Since then, Amazon.co.uk has expanded year on year and now offers customers more than 250 million items across its many categories.
From its original release as the “World’s Largest Bookstore,” Amazon has gone on to dominate e-commerce innovation, causing the decease of many brick-and-mortar chains. Whether you use Amazon or not, it’s undeniable that it has had an enormous impact on all of us, and the future of retail.
Why Amazon Takes the Lead
Amazon has set itself apart from other e-commerce businesses. Starting as an online retailer, Amazon is now considered the capital in cloud computing operations. Nothing is impossible for them, and there are no limits to what they can achieve.
The business that discovered online book sales make sense because books are easy to ship is now offering to deliver large items such as, TVs and gym equipment for free. If you’re a member of its loyalty program ‘Prime’ that is.
Amazon has increased business and introduced ambitious ideas without spreading itself too thin. None of Amazon’s concepts has affected the company negatively or its overall superiority.
All or Nothing
In a regular business, when an idea is put into practise it becomes the be all and end all for the entire company, which can sometimes be a total waste of time if it doesn’t work out. Whereas Amazon will use a small team to experiment with the idea and decide whether if it’s feasible. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos famously introduced the “two-pizza team” rule, where teams are small enough to be fed with two pizzas.
Amazon limits time spent on testing internally. Apparently, according to a blog written in 2011, they prioritise launching early over everything else. Launching a minimum viable product early gives Amazon the opportunity to quickly learn whether an idea that looks good on paper works in the real world.
Despite conquering the e-commerce world, just like any other business, Amazon has still had their fair share of failures, like its highly unsuccessful venture into the smartphone market. However, by getting feedback from paying customers early, they can avoid spending too much time on products that won’t make the cut in the real world.
A Few Innovations So Far
Amongst many innovative ideas, we’ve mentioned just a few that made the news:
A first of its kind portable reader. Amazon introduced the Kindle in November 2007 with the vision of offering every book ever written in any language all available within 60 seconds.
The first Kindle sold out in 5.5 hours. Customers loved that they could search for and buy books on their Kindle—never having to open a computer, and getting a book delivered in less than 60 seconds.
Today Kindle is consistently one of the most wished-for most gifted, and most well-reviewed products on Amazon.
Amazon Fire TV
Bringing movies, TV shows, Apps and much more to customer’s hands. Fire tablets use cutting edge technology to bring shows Amazon products and services to customers.
One of the world’s most popular subscription services. In February 2005 Amazon launched Prime, an all you can eat express shipping membership program for about a million products.
When it launched, Prime was an unproven concept that was met with scepticism. Today customers love Prime. In February 2015, Amazon Prime celebrated its 10-year anniversary with tens of millions of Prime members around the world.
In 2011, Amazon introduced Prime Video as a benefit, now with tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes available for unlimited streaming in the U.S.
A device designed around your voice. The Amazon Echo is a device that you can ask for information, music, news and more.
The Echo, Amazon’s voice-controlled speaker, was a big hit over the Christmas period. Although the company is keeping precise sales figures unknown, Amazon hints that it sold nine times as many Echo devices during the holidays as it did a year earlier.
Drone delivery technology is the future and Amazon wants to be at the forefront of its release. Both Amazon and Google are working on the technology, and the combination of the companies financial and innovative status will give them a huge head start in the development.
Amazon has confirmed they will be opening a new physical store concept in early 2017 that eradicates the conventional queuing process to check out. Amazon Go, the anticipated convenience store could transform the retail sector.
The technology could conquer many different types of retail stores. However, Amazon is concentrating on one small convenience store. It’s rumoured that Amazon aims to open a further 2,000 stores. The company has denied the venture, for now at least. After all, Amazon’s focus isn’t to open one store because there’s a plan for 2,000. Its aim is to open one store and then thousands more IF the first one succeeds.
The process is simple. Customers can take their products, walk out of the door, and pay automatically through an app. Amazon has managed to abolish one of the key frustrations in retail for customers.
If the store succeeds, Amazon Go will be one of the unruliest disruptions in retail. The concept of this technology has remained an idea in retail for years. However, Amazon had the innovative attitude to develop the thought into an actual store sample with Amazon Go.
In doing so, the ground-breaking company has set the standard amongst other retailers. It will up the bar for customer expectations that all other industries will compare to.
Amazon Will Continue to Lead the Way
Amazon’s willingness to experiment is astonishing. The world is developing at a high pace; we live in a time where technology is so advanced, it can help drive new relationships between customers and retailers.
Amazon is the perfect example of how effective it is to invest in e-commerce innovation to continue growth. Companies should consider concentrating on investing in the future of their business – the attention proves to go a long way.
What is your business doing? Have you followed in the footsteps of taking risks, like Amazon do? Many large retailers could have directed the concepts Amazon have, but they are yet to do so. Allow your business to do so, and one day perhaps you could set the standard for innovation.