Amazon didn’t waste any time getting it’s prized product – Alexa-integrated Echo – into Whole Foods stores across the nation… and seemingly at a discount too (read: subsidy).
Read on for the quick bite take…
So why the rush on this one SKU from it’s broad portfolio of Fire & Kindle products?
The key benefit to the cross section of Whole Foods (WF) & Amazon shoppers is the ‘gradual build-up’ towards Amazon’s (market leading) friction-less shopping experience; something that other retailers & service providers are trying too replicate as well.
The (subsidized) Echo may be the first product through WF doors, but certainly not the last Alexa-based product consumers are expected to engage with
Expect release of a raft of Alexa-oriented devices specifically geared towards friction-less shopping of the fresh produce category (think: Alexa fill my cart with all the products required for Bolognese Pasta).
At this point Amazon may already know a lot about the user’s product preference, family size, dinner habits & perhaps even the exact quantity needed to fulfill next day’s work lunch.
Amongst others, the key benefit for Amazon from this is to capture (& ultimately merge) the offline shopping behavior of this cross section of its shoppers; particularly when it comes to the billion dollar supermarket/retail industry and fresh produce category within.
This would enable them to better predict & suggest X-sells based on individual buying behavior, better optimize their supply chain (particularly fresh produce) as well as grow advertising revenue (think: who’ll pay for the omni-channel shelf space).
Limited price cuts & subsidized Echo are amongst only the first steps in the grand plan Amazon has for Whole Foods… we are yet to witness how the omni-commerce giant best utilizes Whole Foods’ 365 sub-brand