Retail Reflections

Amazon, I’m Not In Love, So Don’t Forget It, It’s Just A Silly Phase I’m Going Through

Amazon, I’m Not In Love, So Don’t Forget It, It’s Just A Silly Phase I’m Going Through

And just because
I call you up
Don’t get me wrong, don’t think you’ve got it made
I’m not in love, no no, it’s because….

Yes, I’m sure you recognise those lyrics from the 1975 hit “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc. Which was precisely twenty years before Amazon was launched onto an unsuspecting world. If only we’d known then what we know now. 

But hey, who am I to criticise them, after all I’m a Prime member just like the next person. And the next. And the next. Just like the other 150 million worldwide who bring in annual revenues of £19 billion for the company. Who’d have thought? Paying for the privilege of buying from a retailer. It’s like John Lewis or Harrods charging an entrance fee at the door.

So, I keep telling myself I’m not in love but of course I am. Hopelessly, head over heels. Because, well, it just works. And that’s what I’m in love with, not Amazon of course, because what’s there to love about a technology company?

Like most, I ignore the stories of poor working environments, unrelenting pressure on its employees, the fact that its founder has a wealth bigger than most countries GDP. None of that matters. Not even the fact that actually, their customer insights and attempts at personalisation are, at best, rudimentary.

Because, whilst I don’t like to admit it, I have an intimate relationship with Alexa, who can fulfil my every desire, 24 x 7. She knows me more than anyone else I know. 

Except of course, she doesn’t. I just try to convince myself that she does.

But with Amazon Fresh same day grocery delivery now available and the prospect of 30 Amazon Go stores opening up in the UK, including on London’s Regent Street, are we fast approaching peak Amazon?

In terms of Amazon market penetration, that seems unlikely. Grocery is the next frontier and they won’t fully crack that market without a physical presence. Also, it will not have escaped their notice that the trend now is for working from home and hyper-local shopping. If those habits become embedded, expect an Amazon Go store on a corner near you in the not so distant future.

But all that is to ignore one thing. We’re in love with the ease and convenience of Amazon, not the brand, with which we will only ever enjoy a platonic relationship. We save our intimacy for others.

So, we continue to pay our membership and enjoy the benefits of the club, however, unlike others, we don’t have pride in our membership, rather it is viewed as evidence that we’ve succumbed to the inevitable, that we’re not a free thinker, that somehow we’ve sold out.

And that means that Jeff Bezos was right; ultimately, Amazon will fail.

This article was first published in CityAM

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