The demand from consumers for innovation in the retail industry has never been higher. This year, as has been the case for years, we saw retailers respond with resilience. The innovation of key e-commerce giants, Amazon among then, has maximized revenue even during a year of uncertain and unpredictable economic weather.
Amazon’s large retail presence within the United Kingdom and abroad has gained further traction in 2017, with the continued increasing sales of the item crowned as the number one most innovative retail product in the annual Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations report. The Amazon Echo is the first of four Amazon items on the list, three of which are take the top three positions.
How has Amazon managed to keep their e-commerce business so central to consumers’ lives? The answer, it seems, lies in their innovative approach to technology and the integration Amazon is achieving into consumers’ everyday lives.
The Shape of Things to Come
The Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled smart-home control centre that allows users to control their smart home and applications it is integrated with. This could be turning lights on and off, changing temperatures on the thermostat, or controlling the television.
With recent features added, such as a camera for video and photo-taking abilities, the Amazon Echo can now be used to give owners a second opinion on their outfit! Certainly, Amazon believes that smart technology will be instrumental in the future and the e-commerce giant is shaping how consumers interact with retailers.
The Amazon Echo is a vital tool in Amazon ecosystem. It’s “always listening” capability means it is able to hear everything you say within its earshot, a fact that has been criticised by some in the press due to privacy concerns. But the Echo’s ability also means that Amazon is able to push their retail personalisation further, offering consumers more of what they want or need.
The personalisation and direct marketing opportunities that this presents are welcomed by consumers, as Webloyalty’s The 5Ps of Shopper Motivation report found, many of whom choose to shop with certain retailers able to offer this refined experience. The sense that retailers know the consumer has been made a fact with Amazon’s technology.
Connected to an Amazon account, the innovative Echo can offer alternative suggestions for purchases based on a consumer’s history. Added to this, it is able to remind consumers when they may need to replenish an item. For example, if an Amazon customer buys a remote controlled car, Alexa can remind the customer to purchase batteries.
In 2017, we have seen the Echo make the jump from being simply part of Amazon’s e-commerce network to becoming part the consumer’s personal ecosystem. The Echo’s ability to facilities communication with third-party companies such as Capital One banking, Domino’s Pizza, and Uber transport, embedding it into the consumer’s everyday life and quickly becoming a vital part of their technology setup.
With plans to integrate Alexa into more cars, Amazon’s innovative voice-controlled software may become difficult to live without.
Digital Retail Innovations Report
Take a look at the other 49 top innovations from the UK & Ireland in The Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations report, it highlights some of the most interesting technological developments which are taking place in the retail sector.