When Creepy Becomes Critical

Date: 2015-09-01 15:58:07 // Categories: Advertising, Retail, Trends,
By: Zimmerman Advertising
Date: 2015-09-01 15:58:07 // Categories: Advertising, Retail, Trends,

Perhaps I’m just that sleep deprived, but I thought I heard my two-week old daughter gurgle the word “Amazon” last night.

Truth is, I’m not sure whether I am extremely efficient or shamefully dependent, but almost imperceptibly Amazon has transcended convenience and ventured way into influence. And what I would have thought was intrusive five years ago, is suddenly a necessity. They’ve got me – hook, line and clicker.

Two issues here: The first is this… there are no apples to apples when it comes to brand experience.

90% of shoppers still say they prefer to buy in a brick and mortar. To those people, let me say this. What you love is shopping. Shopping is America’s pastime; our number one hobby, and there’s still nothing like the endorphin rush that comes from finding the right item at the right price and wearing it right out of the store. Or, bringing home that shiny new gadget and plugging in within an hour of laying down your credit card.

But shopping experience and buying experience, while two sides of the same coin, are still different sides indeed.

Amazon’s algorithms and customized services and expanded definition of convenience, while not as tactical, are a rush nevertheless… a superior “buying” experience. Amazon may not have flesh and blood and warm smile, but they are stunningly personalized. And yes, that is indeed a smile you see on each and every Amazon box. 🙂

So if you believe in-store experience is somehow superior, that’s your prerogative. But “better” is a fluid concept and Amazon’s experience is indeed rich. Which brings us to the second issue… The Creep.

We’ve known for years that Amazon was harvesting our shopping and buying behavior. We knew they were giving us free Kindle content to hook us in for a lifetime of Kindle Fire usage and upgrades. We knew the Fire phone was basically a shopping cart and that Amazon Prime would end up costing me more, not saving me more.

But no physical “store” knows me like Amazon does. Not one. The data hounds at Lucky Brand probably noticed that I hadn’t purchased size 26 jeans in a while, but Amazon knew I was pregnant and offered me maternity jeans instead.

Ultimately, no brick and mortar has lured me into gleefully handing over the keys to my data kingdom. But Amazon… together we’ve experienced new foods (Amazon Pantry), discovered new music (Prime Music), spent Sundays binge-watching Boardwalk Empire (Prime Instant Video), and are now all-in with baby (Amazon Mom).

Shortly, Amazon Prime Air will drop their smiling box on my doorstep and would even plop it down my chimney if I had one. And because I’ve got my hands full of diapers and bottles and sleep deprivation, with Amazon I can refill household items with the press of a button (Amazon Dash Buttons).

Oh baby, this is the best.

So to all my retail store exes who gave me a “unique” in-store shopping experience, the once mighty holy grail of retail, there’s a new experiential sheriff in town. One that has stalked me. One that is creepy. The one that I love.