True Story: Amazon Makes Me (Feel Like) a Better Mother

Amazon Prime.  Are you a member?  We are.  And frankly, it (and the Amazon app) has changed our life.  For an annual fee, Prime gives you free 2-day shipping on a number of items (and a bunch of other perks we rarely use).

Real Scenario: Our toddler runs into the kitchen, narrowly missing the corner of the counter.

Internal dialogue: “Crap, I need to get some counter bumpers.”

…Voila! Bumpers at my door. Seamlessly. And virtually FREE!

Well, they’re not really free… But shipping was! (less that annual fee but who even thinks about that anyways.) And… after all, I don’t think I could’ve gotten a better price elsewhere.  It’s Amazon. They have *everything* and they have the best prices! (I think? I see higher, x-ed out prices on their site next to the lower one I’m paying so that must mean something… right? 😉

Ok – so Amazon may or may not be a good deal for everything – neither may Prime-only items. But it doesn’t matter. It feels free.

They have mastered simplicity and convenience to the point that I DON’T CARE.  And that pesky little mental barrier of shipping fees for small purchases – virtually eliminated.

I just use the app, but between that, Amazon Dash auto-replenishment buttons, and voice-activated commands via Alexa, Amazon provides the ultimate in convenience by helping us act on our urge to buy immediately, while helping them close a sale as soon as a need arises.  The risk of losing the sale to another retailer along the path to purchase is minimized – especially for the low-lying fruit of repurchased, or hard-to-find items.

This ‘path’ isn’t something we think about consciously, but we go through it in some form or fashion.

1. Awareness (of a need): (Self-explanatory, I hope)
2. Consideration: You explore your options – online search, browsing in-store, get a recommendation from a friend…
3. Purchase: You’ve made your decision.  You’re ready to commit.
4. Use: (Take a wild guess 😉
5. Repurchase: You like it. You buy it again. You ideally tell a friend (or two or ten) about it.

Generally, I am already at step 5 once I open my Amazon app – mostly for specific household and personal care items that we churn through regularly. The product I’m buying has already done the heavy lifting of convincing me to buy and like it; Amazon provides all of the tools (apps, devices, 1-click ordering) to make themselves an appealing and easy option for purchasing.

For other Amazon purchases, I’m starting at step 1, and have already limited my search to Amazon, because there’s some urgency, I’m about 99% confident they’ll have what I need, I won’t incur a shipping expense, and I already have an account.

At the end of the day, frankly, Amazon’s convenience prevents me from feeling like an inept mother for longer than necessary. With a couple of clicks I’m able to find a solution to make sure my counters are no longer open to potentially concussive run-ins with a busy toddler.

Talk about peeling away the layers of the onion… Yes, I admit it. At times, Amazon helps me feel like a better mother.  That, dear friends, is invaluable. 

Amazon has managed to bring Big Brother into our homes to declutter our minds and make our lives easier… to the point where parting with money is trumped by the ease of mind and convenience it provides.

It’s almost kind of scary.

But I, and many people I know and have met, are actually really ok with it.  Don’t ask me how many of my holiday purchases involved the ‘Buy Now’ button.

Depending on your lifestyle, I’m sure you could substitute Uber, your on-demand beauty or takeout app of choice, or any other number of innovations for my sentiments about Amazon.

What retail or service experiences do you find indispensable? 

Happy Holidays!!


Are we becoming more rude? 

This question was inspired by a recent read, Kit Yarrow’s Decoding the New Consumer Mind.  One of the recurrent themes was the fact that we are more distracted and as a result, more rude in our interactions with others.  Ironically, however, we still seek deeper emotional connections via engagement in our virtual worlds.

What she’s saying can’t possibly be true! I have never…

  • Carried on multiple simultaneous conversations both in person and via text…yikes, GUILTY.
  • Sat at the dinner table with my ears on our conversation and my eyes and hands on my phone… yes, GUILTY.
  • Forfeited an in-person conversation opportunity for a Facebook discussion thread…again, GUILTY.

Ok, verdict rendered. I am the rudest person on the planet…and I’m assuming none of you have ever been guilty of similar behaviors, either. 😉

We (or at least, I) have succumbed to ever-present distraction… and have possibly become a little more rude in the process.

While there are a number of questions about this trend’s impact on society, as a marketer, I’m wondering how this impacts how we should talk to more distracted people.

  • We can be ‘louder’ – Be the BIGGER distraction.  Spend a ton on media.  You can be loud, outrageous, funny.  It may be seen.  If you’re one of the lucky few, it may even go viral.  But today’s viral is often tomorrow’s old news.
  • You can be relevant – Rather than interrupting your customer, what about engaging with them?  What do you know about what your customer values – and when would they most appreciate what you have to say or offer? Part of the battle is understanding not just what to say, but when to say it.
  • You can touch the heart – I was taught to evaluate advertising creative based on a number of criteria, including how it touched the heart.  It’s a couple of years old, but I still think about this Mom’s First Birthday commercial from Pampers Japan. When communications can be honest and insightful about common human concerns, it can not only cut through the clutter, but stick.

I’m no psychologist or sociologist, but in a way, a good marketer does have to be a bit of one.  What are some of the things that are core to the human condition today… and how can we respond?

  • Many people are lonely.  We are almost always (digitally) “connected”, but are ironically oftentimes physically and emotionally lonely.  How can we lend a warm human touch to a colder, more distant world?
  • We are taunted by inadequacy.  Comparing our lives to our perception of others’ on social media is a burden.  How can we help people restore their confidence?
  • We live in self-built silos. We feel more worldly, as we seemingly have infinite access to information and one another.  But we consume selectively, and see the same world through [fill in your name here]-tinted glasses.  How can we unify a highly fragmented world?

I know these sound like tall orders for someone marketing something seemingly banal, like deodorant or cleaning products.  But when you uncover the layers of why someone uses these products – it becomes apparent that the drivers are surprisingly emotional.

Tapping into the core of human condition may be one of the keys to capturing the hearts, minds, and attention of our distracted (and, well, slightly rude) consumers.

What gets your attention?