8 Ways Amazon Changed The World

It’s an Amazon world, we just live in it. At least that’s the way it feels sometimes when so much of what we do (shopping, watching, reading, listening, etc.) is connected to Amazon. And the innovative brand may soon grab another corner of the market.

In December, Amazon announced the opening of Amazon Go, a physical food/grocery store in Seattle with a killer feature: No checkout lines. Using the company’s “Just Walk Out” technology, customers use an app to enter the store, pick out the products they want, and then head out the door.

Amazon Go

Customers will automatically be charged for groceries through their Amazon accounts. To anyone who’s ever sat in a  grocery checkout line for 20 minutes because the person in front of you is fighting over an expired coupon, Amazon Go sounds like pure nirvana.

This shopping innovation is the latest in a long-line of game changers from Amazon. Below are a handful of other notable innovations from Amazon—some which might be familiar to you, others which might not…

8 Great Amazon Innovations

Here’s an octet of innovative ways Amazon has changed our lives. Since Amazon Go is so new, we’ll leave it off the list for now. But it certainly may have a place here soon.

1. Prime

Not only did Amazon give people fast and free (aside from the yearly subscription fee, of course) shipping on thousand items with Prime, they also made people come to expect fast and free shipping from every other company. Now, it’s a letdown for Amazon users when they buy something online from anyone and don’t get it in two days. That’s not just good business, it’s good marketing.

Amazon Prime

There’s also the smart move by Amazon to tie its streaming video service to Prime, which (1) provides an added-value for customers; and (2) gives people incentive to adopt Amazon’s streaming service, watch their original content, and set the stage for the future growth of that enterprise.

2. Prime Now

Not one to rest on its laurels, Amazon continues to work to make shipping even faster for its customers. Prime Now, which is currently available only in a limited number of areas but continues expanding, enables individuals to get certain Amazon items in two hours for free or in one hour for $7.99.

3. Prime Air

Still in development, Prime Air could be a real game changer—enabling customers to get their orders delivered in 30 minutes or less via drones who drop them at your doorstep. That’s right, flying robots will deliver your packages immediately after you place your order. The future is coming quick.

Amazon Prime Air

4. One-Click Purchases

We tend to take innovations like one-click buying for granted… until you go to another retail website and have to fill out multiple forms and click through multiple pages to place an order. Across the board, Amazon really has streamlined the ordering process to make it as quick and easy as possible.

5. Dash Button

A small but smart and practical innovation. Amazon dash buttons are a physical manifestation of Amazon’s one-click ordering. You can buy one for $5 for major brands and then just click it when you want to reorder that item and—presto!—your order is placed.

Amazon Dash Button

6. Alexa

While the technology isn’t entirely there yet, Amazon’s voice-responding virtual assistant is helping to propel it forward. With the Amazon Echo, Tap, and Dot, Amazon is getting people accustomed to using this technology—and trying to grab their share of the market (versus competitors like Google and Apple). Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, is amazing at doing Amazon things (placing orders, finding music, etc.). And she can hear and respond to voice commands at a normal volume from across a noisy room, which is pretty impressive.

7. Kindle

Before the Kindle, e-books were stalling. Readers and content existed, but they weren’t breaking through. Then Amazon gave people a quick, convenient and affordable way to get books and the medium surged forward. By working to put a Kindle in the hands of as many people as possible with a low price tag, Amazon took control of the e-book market—becoming the destination for purchasing content. It harkens back to an age-old business tactic: You don’t make money on the razor, you make money on the blades.

Amazon Kindle

8. Cloud Computing

Amazon initially built its cloud computing platform to help the company’s web services run faster and smarter. But they’ve also built a huge business providing these services to other companies. This New York Times article notes that Amazon’s Web Services are far more profitable than its North American retail business and “profits from A.W.S. represented 56 percent of Amazon’s total operating income” for the first quarter of 2016.

AUTHOR: Shad Connelly
ORIGIN: Communications Director @ MONSTERS Unlimited

If you'd like to follow Shad on Twitter  /  @shadconnelly