- Jeff Cohen
- On July 17, 2017
- 0 Comments
If you ask my kids (ages 11, 10 and 6), they will tell you that I own Amazon. I have explained to them that my name is Jeff, the company I work for helps people sell on Amazon, but I am not the Jeff who owns Amazon. I can’t wait to show up for Career Day at their schools and disappoint everyone else’s kids too. Similar to how I will ruin their days, Amazon has ruined online shopping—and reasonable expectations. Think about it; everything you buy from Amazon comes in two days (unless you live under a rock and you’re not one of the 85 million Prime subscribers).
We Shop on Amazon While In the Store
One of my kids is a total sports fiend and he drinks a protein shake for breakfast every day. Our household was running low last week so I went to a store that I knew carried his preferred brand. While I was there looking at rows and rows of supplements and shake powders, I felt overwhelmed. I then did what most of us now do when shopping in big-box stores: I took out my phone and opened up my Amazon app to see if the item was cheaper on Amazon than at Target and to see how soon I could have it.
My son’s shake mix was indeed cheaper and I’d have it on my doorstep in two days. So I bought it on Amazon. Obviously. And Amazon is literally banking on that. The product now has a Dash button, which I added, and now when my sports-loving son is down to his last two to three services, I push a button—and bam—shake mix arrives at my door and he feels like he received some mail. This is the new reality that Amazon has created in terms of not just shopping but also with shoppers’ expectations.
Amazon Has Spoiled Us
We expect to get anything and everything that we want or need at the cheapest price delivered fast to our doorstep, and sometimes without even really shopping for it (think Dash or Subscribe and Save). And this works fine until it doesn’t, which is to say, whenever we shop off of Amazon.
My own family did so the other day when my son needed dorm-fit sheets (the weird Twin XL size) for summer camp. He didn’t like any on Amazon so we found some on Jet. I purchased them on July 8 and the package was sent via FedEx (sounds fast, right?). Through Amazon, the sheets would have arrived July 9 (yep, even on Sunday) or maybe July 10 or 11 depending on the time of day I ordered. Instead, the sheets arrived July 14. According to the tracking, my sheets took a leisurely sojourn from the West Coast to the Midwest.
If this weren’t a time-sensitive purchase, it wouldn’t have mattered. But it was. And if this weren’t a time-sensitive purchase then I would have forgotten about the package and it would have been a nice surprise when it did arrive—like when you ask your kids to clean their rooms and they actually do it. You know, you put it out there but you don’t expect much and when it does happen, it feels like a bonus.
Our Expectations of Online Shopping Have Increased
Is it a tragedy that the sheets are taking five or so days to arrive? No. In fact, three years ago I would have said that was pretty fast. But it’s 2017 and the expectation has changed so that you, me, my kids, and everyone tethered to Amazon (pretty much everyone, period) expects near-instant gratification along with the best deals and bonus benefits. This isn’t going away. Nobody will be relaxing their online shopping expectations. If anything, Amazon is pushing expectations higher with things like same-day delivery and delivery within two hours for some items.
For other retailers to compete with Amazon, they would have to up their inventory and assortments, match Amazon’s prices (or go lower), and ship faster. But with Amazon’s infrastructure, supply chains, and distribution networks, this seems an impossible task. And so we grow increasingly spoiled, we demand more and are impatient until Amazon offers us something even newer, faster and shinier.