Amazon’s long term approach to enhancing the customer experience just took another spin. Amazon recently launched Amazon Live, a home shopping channel that streams live product demonstrations on their website. Move over HSN and QVC, Amazon has quietly reentered this shopping field and hasn’t stopped there. Amazon Live Creator, an app built for the iOS mobile platform is now available for download. This app allows smaller and less known brands to engage with shoppers in real time, on a low budget, and to reach Amazon customers in a new way. It’s clear with Amazon’s new broadcasting services, the consumer shopping experience just got a little friendlier.
COMPETITION IS STEEP
Amazon’s newest inroads into the broadcast market come on the heels of the 2017 merger of HSN and QVC. Now under the parent company Qurate Retail Group, HSN and QVC US generated $8.5 billion in revenue in 2017, reached 100 million homes through 5 broadcast networks, and attracted more than 1 billion visits to their websites. And Amazon probably took notice. The home shopping model used by these two innovators has worked for a long time and maintained a loyal customer base. As consumer shopping habits changed, QVC and HSN have been nimble and added online shopping as well. It’s reported that under the merger, QVC continues to show growth.
NEW SHOPPING EXPERIENCES FOR CONSUMERS
Even though Amazon has likely taken its cue from the original broadcast streaming giants, its new shopping experience is in keeping with their long-term philosophy of a customer-first approach. Differing from HSN and QVC, Amazon streams multiple videos leaving the choice up to the consumer of which one they want to watch. Also, it’s likely that in an effort to keep customers engaged and interested, Amazon allows consumers to watch older prerecorded videos. As consumers continue to get bombarded with different forms of media in today’s highly dynamic shopping environment, this is a new spin on an old model likely meant to increase the shopper experience.
AMAZON HOME SHOPPING CHANNEL 2.0
After a failed attempt a few years ago to enter the streaming market, this is Amazon’s second foray into broadcast shopping. Flying under the radar, Amazon launched Style Code Live in March of 2016 and canceled it only 15 months later. The format followed the QVC and HSN model with live hosts and staged sets, but its focus was solely on fashion and beauty. Although Amazon was likely trying to draw from the rising popularity of influencers to drive consumer sales, it quickly pulled the plug. This time Amazon Live is taking a slightly different approach, perhaps garnering insights from their failed first attempt. With a focus on all categories and not just fashion and beauty, it’s now casting a wider consumer net.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES
Launching Amazon Live Creator not only helps small businesses get in front of customers on a low budget, but it creates an opportunity to sell more products for customers who are always on the go. The app allows a brand to stream its video content directly to Amazon on desktop, mobile and within the Amazon mobile app. And with built-in analytics, brands get tangible insights and performance metrics. With the rise of inbound marketing tactics and social media influencing consumer spending, brands are likely listening to consumers more. Even though Amazon Live can be hard to find since its remains absent from Amazon’s main website navigation, the multi-streamed approach might just fit the bill this time for their over 100MM+ Prime users. Only time will tell.