My Way? More Like Under His Skin
Prime Cut: President Trump continued his barrage of tweets against Amazon, claiming the e-tailer is scamming the U.S. Post Office and that the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post acts as a lobbyist.
Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country…not a level playing field!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018
TWICE Take: While Amazon currently collects sales tax in all states with sales tax, it’s hard to argue against the fact that its initial failure to do so provided an advantage over the brick-and-mortar competition. What some will argue now, however, is that Trump’s attempts to take down the retail giant is a personal vendetta that will merely backfire.
See the full story on CNBC.
Chips, Charging Cable, Avocado, Check
Prime Cut: Amazon’s decision to purchase Whole Foods is further evidenced with the findings that “micro” visits to Whole Foods were up 11 percent at locations containing Amazon lockers.
TWICE Take: Micro visits, which are defined here as retail visits lasting three to five minutes, not only appeal to consumers avoiding “porch pirates,” Reuters notes, but also those seeking the immediate satisfaction that only brick-and-mortar can fulfill. Also found in hundreds of 7-Elevens, we can expect to see more lockers invade more chains as they continue to offer impulse-shopping benefits for their retail hosts.
See the full story on Reuters.
Sausage Making In Space?
Prime Cut: Dave Gershgorn provides an inside look at the exclusive MARS (machine learning, automation, robotics and space exploration) event, now in its third year. The who’s who of emerging technology gather each year in Palm Springs, Calif., for a private Bezos-funded conference spotlighting all manners of research.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) March 19, 2018
TWICE Take: As Gershgorn alludes, one wonders whether the conference serves as a potential road map for Amazon or merely a billionaire’s dinner-party wish list.
See the full story on Quartz.
Alexa, What The Hell Is Going On In Here?
Prime Cut: Patent applications indicate that Amazon is exploring further enhancement of Alexa voice services, including “real time” audio analysis. What it plans to do with this enhanced data, however, remains unclear, as does consumer acceptance of its collection methods.
TWICE Take: Perhaps most eerily, similar patents from Google indicate that its own Home smart speaker could soon be able to determine what most parents of small children already know: Something is very wrong when things are too quiet.
See the full story on The New York Times.
Prime Day Postulation
Prime Cut: Based on previous years, this year’s Prime Day — Amazon’s wildly successful self-celebratory faux holiday — could be held July 9-10, according to DealNews. As expected, the consumer deal-hunting site anticipates Echo devices will once again receive the spotlight, as well as smart home devices, Fire TVs and (sorry Toys“R”Us) toys.
TWICE Take: Amazon extended the event to encompass 30 hours last year, and there’s little reason to think it wouldn’t go a step further this year to hit a full 48. While the inaugural Prime Day was met with quite a bit of consumer disappointment, the retailer proclaims each year to be more record-breaking than the last.
See the full story on DealNews.
Amazon Quote of the Week
“If you could hold a conference about the beginning of a golden age, why wouldn’t you? I really do believe that we are on the leading edge of an incredible renaissance.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder