If you follow our blog posts, then you will already be aware that 2015 has been a busy year so far for online retail giant Amazon, who has been rolling out a series of innovative services and technology solutions. As we pass the half way point of the year, we thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look at the most recent innovations Amazon is now offering their customers.
At the beginning of May, Amazon launched their new close-to-home vacation platform, Amazon Destinations – the e-tailer’s first major move into hotel bookings. It features destinations and hotels within a customer’s driving distance and enables users to plan and book their accommodation directly via Amazon.
The online giant has previously offered hotel flash deals and discounted rates, but with this new platform (now part of the Amazon Local brand), Amazon are more aggressively entering the online travel-booking market.
For now, Amazon is focusing its efforts on get-a-ways around three U.S. metro areas: Seattle, Los Angeles and New York – but more destinations are likely to be added by the end of the year.
Groceries are considered to be the biggest untapped ecommerce opportunity, so it is no wonder that Amazon are planning to introduce their own line of grocery items, alongside the other private-labelled brands they offer.
Although Amazon seem to have initially focused on adding milk, cereal and baby food to their Elements brand, it has been reported that they have also sought trademark protection for more than 20 other categories; including coffee, soup and pasta, as well as some household products, like razor blades and cleaning supplies.
Amazon is reportedly preparing for a bigger role in the gaming industry, through their Amazon Game Studios projects. Whilst the Game Studios have so far mostly produced mobile games, the online giant is currently looking for talent to help them create the company’s first PC game.
Let’s remember that back in August 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, an online video channel that enables users to broadcast and watch people play video games.
As well as continuously introducing service and technological innovations, Amazon is also strategically improving their logistics and delivery network.
After recently expanding their Prime Now offering to Chicago and Indianapolis, Amazon’s one-hour delivery service is now available in the UK.
In June 2015, Amazon launched Prime Now in London, marking their first expansion of the service outside of the US.
Prime Now is currently limited to central areas of London, but the service is expected to be rolled out to different postal codes throughout the year.
Reportedly, Amazon will be introducing yet another innovative approach in their delivery network – enlisting regular people to deliver their packages.
While the online giant has not revealed any specific details around this move, if put into practice, it is considered to give the e-tailer more understanding and control over the consumers’ shopping experience, whilst also expected to help decrease shipping costs.
At the beginning of June, Amazon also pioneered another aspect of the delivery process, by becoming the first company to use their packaging to market an unrelated product. The online retailer rolled out ads on its famous delivery boxes to boost the new Minions movie from the Despicable Me franchise.
Although Amazon has previously used their packaging to advertise their own products, this is the first time they have done so for a non-Amazon related product.
Undoubtedly, the one Amazon endeavour that got everyone talking, was Prime Day; a one-day, global shopping sales event, which was intended to provide Prime members with more deals than Black Friday.
Held on July 15th 2015, and design as a platform to celebrate Amazon’s 20th birthday, Prime Day ended up with 34.4 million items purchased across all Prime-eligible countries.
According to the e-tailer, this one-day sales event was a huge success, breaking all Black Friday records, with 398 items ordered per second – so no surprise that Amazon plans on hosting it again.
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