A forum to discovering how we as retailers are coping with rapid change, how we can keep our businesses viable when our assumptions and practices no longer seem relevant, what we might learn from other businesses about innovation and outmoded legacies, how our failure to adapt is leading us astray, and how we can regain the sense of agility our mom-and-pop forebears once knew instinctively—keep it fresh, keep it changing, and keep them coming.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Bezos captures mindshare: Who cares about drones?
The latest marketing coup extraordinaire goes to Jeff Bezos
for kicking off the e-tailing holiday season on 60 Minutes by capturing in our
minds the enviable position that Amazon is all about fast delivery.Not FedEx.Not UPS, which lamely limps in two days later with the announcement that
it too has plans for drones.Who else
has ever been able to focus the media on that unsexy, but oh-so necessary workhorse—distribution?60 Minutes, with a gushing Charlie Rose,
spent over 2 minutes analyzing one of Amazon’s 96 worldwide distribution
centers, oohing and aahing over pick-pack as if Jeff himself had personally
And what better timing—the day before the so-called Cyber-Monday?
Bezos attended the now defunct Annual Catalog Conference,
which, in full disclosure was an event launched by my former magazine—Catalog
Age (now Multichannel Merchant) and the Direct Marketing
Association.There he may have learned
some of the lessons that catalogers and other direct marketers had been driving
home for years: 1) The value of a customer, 2) The importance of tracking customer
transaction behavior, among other data, and 3) The fact that Shipping &
Handling is the major stumbling block in sight unseen transactions
(like over the web or from a catalog).
The surest way to overcome S&H is to make it a
non-objection.Free shipping is one way,
but, if it is not done well, it breaks the bank.Amazon has Amazon Prime--$79, but you never
have to worry about it for the rest of the year.And if I don’t like that pink cashmere
sweater I bought, returns are easy.
Delayed gratification due to slow delivery.Now, Amazon is
picking away at that problem—same day, within a half an hour? He’s telling us, it’s all within reach and
Amazon is bushwhacking the way.
Ries & Trout called positioning the battle for consumers’
minds.Kudos Bezos, you now own fast
delivery in the mind of the American customer.