My man and I reached new levels of yuppy recently, gifting each other a smart home for Christmas, complete with Apple TV, two HomePod Minis, and a whole host of smart devices like lightbulbs, plugs, and door locks. Now, when we walk into the house, the lights turn on, when we tell Siri it’s bedtime, the lights turn off, and when we tell her it’s feeling dry, the humidifier resumes its steady vapor cloud. Sure, it’s all very cool and convenient, though I will confide I occasionally find myself in an embarrassingly protracted argument with a speaker (“Hey Siri! Stop talking, OMG, let me finish a sentence!”) and that I have come to feel like an early version of the human population in WALL-E.
As we discussed in our blog a couple weeks ago, despite 2020 unleashing nearly every horror imaginable upon us, holiday spending forecasts show roughly a $50/household spending decline, which, given the totality of this year's tumult, is not all that much.
Last week, we discussed Amazon’s holiday catalogue, a real life paper manifestation of its omnichannel dominance. This week, we are continuing to explore Amazon’s push into the physical by considering their nascent brick & mortar store, Amazon 4-Star, of which Amazon currently operates twenty-seven in sixteen states, with plans to open five more in the near future.
For the third consecutive year, Amazon has released a holiday toy “wishbook,” Joy Delivered, a paper catalogue containing literally thousands of items spread across 92 pages. Clearly intended to drive holiday gift purchases in households with children, the catalogue is already hitting its mark, it would seem. Indeed, according to the Krazy Coupon Lady, “Amazon’s Holiday Wish Book is Here and My Kids Are Going Nuts.”
Amazon came a step closer to unmanned package delivery with its recent FAA approval for Amazon Prime Air, its drone delivery program. The company can now begin testing the service with actual customers, having demonstrated to the FAA’s satisfaction that the program is safe through its tests in controlled environments.