Amazon Zigs When Others Zag: Meeting Consumer Needs Before They Know They Have Them

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

 

Amazon has proven time and again to be particularly adept at figuring out what its customers want and giving it to them. Whether it’s shopping suggestions based on previous orders, on-demand media content or same-day delivery, the retail giant answers the demands of the people whose purchases are lining its pockets.

The latest example of this as-you-wish mentality was recently announced and reported in an article for CNN by Taylor Nicole Rogers titled “Amazon’s new waste-reduction strategy: Delivery only once a week.” Upon first reading that headline, you might think, “Wait a minute. Won’t that mean it takes longer to get my packages?” For example, what if packages are delivered on Tuesdays, but the order was placed on a Wednesday?

That’s where the beauty of this marketing tactic comes into play. Not only does the customer pick which day of the week their packages are delivered, they decide whether or not to opt into the one-delivery-per-week paradigm in the first place. For customers who still want to be able to order a charcoal grill or an ironing board from Amazon and have it delivered in two days through Prime that option still exists.

But if you do opt into the program, your orders will be held for delivery on your selected day of the week. For instance, let’s say you’ve placed several separate orders over the last few days and you set your “Amazon Day” to Friday. Amazon will wait until Friday to deliver everything, even if some of those orders could have been delivered a day or two earlier.

It’s hard to know at the outset what kind of impact this program will have on Amazon’s overall carbon emissions. Perhaps they’ll do a before and after analysis and publish the results. The program lets some consumers feel good about “doing their part” to reduce carbon emissions while allowing others to maintain the convenience Amazon’s delivery service has used to create a strong competitive advantage.

Amazon tends to know what it’s doing so this will be an interesting move to monitor.

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