The marketplace today demands speed. Apple with its iPhones and iPads, has apps downloaded every millisecond. Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg of Google in their book, How Google Works say “The pace of change is accelerating.”
Firms are born and die faster. Ideas move around the world more quickly.
Amazon is building a company that excels at Speed. Today in over 20 cities in the U.S. you can be at home in your pajamas and order products on your Prime. I can order at 6 AM and if willing to wait 2 hours get free delivery. The shipping cost is $7.99 if I want my product in one hour. They are moving toward the use of drones so packages can be delivered in less than 30 minutes. Amazon sales grew 20% in 2014 to almost $89 billion and the company will continue to spend money on adding new features to prime membership. Sales results for 2015 will be announced any day. Expect another 20% increase.
This is my order on Prime December 17, 2015. They send a confirming email the order has been delivered but they deliver until midnight Christmas Eve. Unbelievable!
If you are Best Buy, Target, Sears or Walmart with huge stores and huge overhead, you are in serious trouble. Over the Holiday Shopping over 94% of those buying gifts bought something from Amazon.
In the U.S. on the Amazon website, you have three options if you need personal help. You can email, chat or have them call you. They call you with a live person in ONE SECOND. 24/7 In the U.S. most firms have banker hours (meaning hours convenient to the owner of the business) Most U.S. firms have IVR. Technology designed to prevent you from talking to a live knowledgeable person.
Amazon wants to be the most customer-centric company in the world. Very few firms want to copy the success of Amazon. They are unable to keep up and cannot grow fast. CEO Jeff Bezos is one of the most successful and innovative business leaders around. Amazon stock has delivered massive gains for investors over the years, at the same time inflicting enormous damage on many competitors in the brick-and-mortar retail category. Bezos is the 15th wealthiest person in the world. Way too much money according to most CEO’s who feel focusing on the Customer Experience is too much work. Crazy!
This is a quote from Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon:
“If you want to make more of something make the friction less. If you want to make less of something make the friction more.”
Inditex, the owner of Zara, a “fast fashion” retailer, designs 40,000 products a year that are shipped to stores twice a week. It has helped end the idea that fashion only has two big seasons a year.
A key part of the Customer Experience is Speed which also is part of convenience. The survivors in the future will master speed. It is part of the hours you are open, the speed of getting a live person on your call center, the speed of getting your product or service to the client.