This is the first post in a series about deconstructing Amazon’s Feedback Loop in an attempt to understand both how its components work as individual units and together as a collective system.
We’ll begin deconstructing the Amazon Feedback Loop by focusing on the Convenience Growth Lever.
When retailers invest in the Convenience Growth Lever, we’re talking about the infrastructure that makes the shopping experience as quick, simple, and hassle-free as possible for customers. The better job you do taking away the headaches of shopping, goes the logic, the more consumers will want to spend money with you. And you grow.
The convenience infrastructure for traditional retailers revolves around placing stores as near as possible to the greatest mass of shoppers and then supporting those stores with staff, stock, and maintenance to keep them in good working order. It’s largely steeped in real-estate, an asset that tends to get costlier with time.
For web-based retailers, it’s a different set of variables based largely on technology and the ability to deliver goods to customers as quickly as possible. Technology tends to cost less through its cycles of innovation, allowing users to do more with it at a cheaper price as time marches on.
Let’s start the convenience discussion with a contemplation of diaper stench.
Walmart vs. Amazon: A Case Study in Convenience and Diaper Stench
It’s Monday afternoon and my wife informs me that we’re running low on those special fresh-scented garbage bags that line the sides of the diaper-genie device in the baby’s nursery. Given that we’ve recently introduced our seven-month old daughter to the pleasure of solid foods, that they often don’t agree with her little system and therefore wreak havoc on her little outputs, we’re going through a lot of diapers. And keeping those liners in stock is of some importance to our family’s collective olfactory wellbeing.