Tag Archives: Amazon

Amazon Rules Holiday Online Shopping


It seems there is no stopping Amazon; the company continues to expand and capture more shares of the retail market every year. According to a recent study, Amazon accounted for 51 cents of every additional $1 spent online by Americans. And, of the roughly $94 billion growth in all retail sales, Amazon accounted for $22 billion for nearly a quarter of all online sales.

In just this holiday shopping season, Amazon shipped 200 million more items through its Prime subscription service (as compared to the same period last year). Prime now covers an estimated 25% of all U.S. households. Prime goes beyond free two-day shipping and now includes music and video streaming, original content, and unconventional promotion such as July’s Prime Day.

Amazon’s share of the ecommerce market in the U.S. jumped from 22% last year to 26% in 2015. Of all retail purchases in the U.S. (excluding cars, gas, and food/beverage stores), Amazon accounts for 4%.

Where are you shopping?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Where did they shop this holiday season? How much did they spend online vs. in stores?
  2. Show Amazon’s Prime offerings: amazon.com
  3. Divide students into teams and have team review the services offered via Prime.
  4. Next, have each team select another retailer. How can the retailer compete with Amazon? What additional services might be offered? How can the retailer differentiate from Amazon?

Source: New York Times, other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Amazon’s New Drone!


Amazon is pushing the envelope once again. Just in time for holiday shopping, Amazon disclosed a video of its new drone delivery demonstration. While it is not yet a legal form of transportation for packages, nonetheless it is pushing the boundaries of the supply chain and shifting consumers’ expectations for technology.

Two years ago Amazon first announced its intention to use drones for delivery of small packages, showing a prototype octocopter drone. The new version features an updated drone vehicle that flies under 400 feet altitude (thus avoiding trees and houses) and weighs less than 55 pounds. This means that it is within the size limit as stated by the FAA in February. (New commercial operation specifications are expected from the FAA in 2016.)

The drones will have intelligent programming that enables the device to identify and avoid things in the air. Each drone can carry up to five pounds and fly 15 miles, landing on a pre-determined launch pad. And, with an Amazon Prime Air membership, packages are delivered in 30 minutes.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss distribution channels and supply chain. What are the elements involved, costs, etc.? How will drone deliveries impact supply chains?
  2. Show the Amazon drone video:


  1. Discuss the video: implications, risks, issues, benefits, etc.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product that might qualify for delivery via drone and draw a diagram of a possible distribution model both with and without drones.
  3. Debrief the exercise by having students share their models and discuss the pros/cons.

Source: Amazon, New York Times, other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Reorder with Touch of a Button


In a rush? Running out of basic supplies such as detergent or toothpaste? Amazon has a solution for reordering these and hundreds of other products. Just push a button and the order is placed and shipped automatically. No muss, no fuss.

Amazon Dash Buttons are now available for more than 250 different products, including customer favorites such as Tide, Bounty, Clorox, Gatorade, Gillette, and more. Buttons are a small Wi-Fi connected device. To use it, customers download the app, sign into their Prime account, connect Button to Wi-F,i and select the product to reorder. Amazon sends an order confirmation to the customer’s phone, making it easy to track or cancel the order. The buttons initially cost $4.99 and are available only for Amazon Prime members. For every Button purchased, Amazon gives the buyer $4.99 in credit.


Amazon isn’t the only vendor using ecommerce to tie consumers directly to services. Brita is working on a pitcher that will reorder water filters after a certain amount of water has been filtered. Whirlpool is working on a dryer that automatically reorders detergent. And, Brother is developing a printer that will automatically reorder ink when the supply is low.


Who needs a shopping list when items are smart enough to order their own replenishment?



Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. View Amazon’s Web site and video to review the service:


  1. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  2. How does the Button fit into the buying process?
  3. Will it work for products that required extended decision making?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify other products that could benefit from this approach.



Source: Brandchannel.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities