I am a bit of an Amazon fan, their services save me time, money and make my life easier. But, behind the online shop and Alexa voice services I rely on, they have been busy testing the water with new ideas and concepts.
It was only last year that for a day you had the option to sell your house with Amazon. And whilst it looks like that was simply a test page that managed to go live by accident, it showed an intention that Amazon is looking to expand well beyond groceries, goods and digital media.
This month Construction News features five areas where Amazon is testing it's capabilities in property and construction, from physical stores to advanced distribution and AI. Most interesting for me is the more subtle opportunities Amazon has to disrupt the lower end of the market, in produce distribution and business services.
Many of my friends working in tech see a different side of Amazon to most consumers. As Lora Dimitrova points on in this interesting post on Amazon Web Services, they use B2B and ABM approaches for many of their services such as AWS and it works well for them, turning clients into advocates. Applying this same logic, an ABM approach to a big construction firm could enable Amazon to enter that business at multiple levels, from managing their construction logistics and supply chain, digital product integration (BIM etc) and in-house staff services (HR portals and intranets). The minor disruption of ousting Lyreco as a stationary supplier or Royal Mail as a postal service could, in volume, enable them to Amazonify businesses, building the scale needed to invest in products and services exclusively for that market.
The list below on Construction News is worth taking a look. I hadn't realized some of the things they're working on, and I certainly hope the continued progression of Amazon into business services and products continues.
The US retailing behemoth, which began life in the garage of founder Jeff Bezos 24 years ago, is rapidly expanding into a mind-boggling number of fields. The firm, now worth around $760bn, has always thrived through innovation, but lately the volume of new ideas emanating from its Seattle HQ has gone up a gear. From credit cards to home security systems, Amazon’s ambitions know no limits and it is clearly willing to shake up more traditional areas. A reminder of the firm’s relentless success came last week when it revealed first quarter profits more than doubled to $1.6bn. But what is Amazon doing that should be of interest to contractors – and where are the opportunities?