I frequently blog about genetic and other discoveries that could influence the near future worlds of my 2029 sci fi story THE UPHEAVAL and my 2049 sci fi story THE MOTHER SIEGE. Today I realized that Amazon activities probably need to be included in my near future conjectures.
Case in point:
I read in today’s April 18, 2016, print Wall Street Journal the article by Greg Bensinger titled “Amazon Ups the Ante on Streaming Video, Challenging Netflix“ that begins:
Amazon.com Inc. is firing a shot across the bow of Netflix Inc. by attempting to become a primary destination for streaming video.
The Seattle online retailer said Sunday it will begin offering its video-streaming service as a stand-alone option for the first time. A monthly subscription will cost $8.99, a dollar less than the most popular plan from Netflix.
In addition, “Prime membership also will be offered monthly for the first time to all U.S. customers for $10.99.” (Until now Amazon Prime membership was only available via a $99 annual fee.)
I have been saying for years (only partly as a joke) that Amazon is going to take over the world. I already spot small Amazon vans delivering all over Beverly Hills. And let’s not forget the delivery drones Amazon hopes to employ sooner than later.
As a digital marketer besides fiction writer I found this part of the Journal article very intriguing (my boldface):
The Prime service has become a crucial component in Amazon’s growing retail dominance. In addition to providing a reliable revenue stream of membership fees, Prime customers spend as much as double what non-Prime customers do in a year, by some estimates. Amazon has bulked the service up with add-ons like exclusive discounts and streaming music.
Then, just after I read this article, I demonstrated the action that Amazon is betting on:
My husband planned to delay walking to his law office in order to drive to a vacuum repair store where he wanted to see about getting our inexpensive carpet sweeper fixed. I told him to hang on while I went online to Amazon and did a search for a similar product.
Instead I bought a new carpet sweeper of the brand he wanted (Bissell) for $19.08 and got free shipping with our Amazon Prime membership. This was so much easier than his proposed in-store visit, perhaps only to find that the carpet sweeper could not be fixed!
And this purchase followed the lamp we just bought via Amazon to replace a lamp that had already been repaired once and wasn’t worth fixing again. (No shipping fee even on this heavy object with our Amazon Prime membership.)
Just to be clear, I am not advocating that everyone should get Amazon Prime or any other paid Amazon service. What I am advocating is that businesses today, whether local or global, need to keep a sharp eye on Amazon and adjust their own business models accordingly.
And, in a near future sci fi story, perhaps Amazon will replace my imaginary Provisional Government as the draconian governmental entity.
© 2016 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. Phyllis is available by skype for book group discussions and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her Kindle fiction ebooks may be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller — and her Kindle nonfiction ebooks may also be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller