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AMAZON: REVOLUTIONISING ECOMMERCE THROUGH INNOVATION (PART IV)

21 June 2016

If you follow our blog posts, then you will already be aware that the past year has been a busy period for the online retailing giant, Amazon, who has been rolling out a series of innovative services and technology solutions.

Now at the halfway point of 2016, we decided to take a look at the most recent innovations Amazon is now offering their customers.

AMAZON GOES INTO THE AIRFREIGHT BUSINESS

In between running delivery drone tests, expanding Prime Now across the globe, developing itsDash Button service, and installing more parcel lockers throughout the US and Europe, Amazon has now also entered the airfreight business.

Earlier this year, the online giant completed a deal with a cargo-airline partner to run its own airfreight delivery operation flying 20 used Boeing 767 cargo jets, as a way to expand its logistics network. The deal allows Amazon to move goods around to major distribution centres around the US, so it can control costs and respond to increased order volumes.

AMAZON ROLLS OUT ‘TREASURE TRUCKS’

As well as expanding into airfreight and reportedly partnering with major car manufacturers to go into the growing business of driverless vehicles, Amazon has not left behind its core strength of providing innovative delivery options ‘on wheels’.

In February this year, the online retailer introduced a new delivery service in Seattle, called ‘Treasure Truck’. This is a deals programme that lets people buy heavily-discounted items through Amazon’s mobile app and pick it up from the truck at a designated location.

AMAZON EXPANDS BRICK-AND-MORTAR

After opening its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle last year and building its second physical location in San Diego, while making plans for opening additional offline stores in the near future, Amazon is undoubtedly growing ambitions in the physical retail arena.

Although Amazon have not made it clear as to exactly what kind of stores they will be going after next, the online retailer might turn out to be the one cracking the code on creating a differentiated shopping experience from traditional brick-and-mortar stores, which have experienced a considerable slow down over the past year.

AMAZON TO TAKE ON YOUTUBE

With innovation and diversification being at the heart of Amazon, the online giant is now stepping into the user-generated video market by launching its new video service, called Amazon Video Direct.

Similar to YouTube, this service allows creators to upload their own videos to Amazon’s Prime Video and generate royalties based on the hours streamed.

AMAZON ENTERS THE MUSIC STREAMING SCENCE

In addition to video, Amazon is also preparing to launch a stand-alone music streaming subscription service.

Although the online giant is entering a very crowded streaming space, dominated by the well-established offerings of Apple and Spotify, Amazon believes that introducing a comprehensive music service is an inseparable part of becoming a one-stop shop for content and goods.

AMAZON ‘STYLE CODE’ NOW LIVE

After launching its own fashion product line last year, ‘Amazon Fashion’, this March, Amazon debuted a live, daily show dedicated to fashion and beauty, called ‘Style Code Live’.

During the 30-minute show, the hosts along with a rotating line-up of guests offer viewers tips on fashion and beauty. Viewers are then able to shop for the corresponding products in an accompanying gallery that is located just below the video player.

AMAZON INTRODUCES ‘SELFIE’ PAYMENTS

On top of all these exciting innovations, Amazon has not forgotten the need for innovation in the payment industry and could soon let customers purchase products without a password, but using a photo of their face instead.

The ecommerce giant has already filed a patent to use photos or videos of a user’s face in a two-step system, as a way to approve their online purchases. The first selfie will establish a customer’s identity, while the second one will help to avoid spoofs.

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