Beware the Behemoth! – Amazon

HAI Chief Executive Annemarie Harte was recently invited to a BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association) Forum in Coventry where Amazon representatives presented on how to become a supplier through their service. She took away one over-riding message – beware the behemoth Amazon!

In the April/May edition of The Hardware Journal, we looked at disruption in a bricks and mortar capacity in the form of Aussie import Bunnings. This time, all the wonders of Star Trek and Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century are coming to life in the form of technological advances from Amazon. They boast they have the ‘Earth’s biggest selection’ of product. Combined with Echo, a hands-free speaker controlled with your voice and Alexa its voice-recognition technology, Amazon claims that never shopping in-store again could be a reality for many consumers.

The ecommerce giant’s Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices will claim a 70.6% share of the US market this year, according to US research firm eMarketer. You can tell Alexa to play music, order an Uber or turn on the house lights. ‘She’ is ready to receive, understand, process and reply in seconds in response to any request. The eMarketer report (see below) underscores Amazon’s progress in making Alexa and its speech-recognition technology an integral part of customers’ lives. More users means more data that can improve Alexa’s understanding and could make it a top platform for voice, in the way that Windows became the top platform for desktop.

Prime time

Amazon Prime is at the core of Amazon’s customer offer and growth has been central to the success of Amazon since its inception. When Jeff Bezos set up the company in his garage in 1994 he put growth at the heart of his strategy (see graphic of Amazon flywheel of growth). Amazon Prime offers unlimited, one-day delivery on millions of items and same-day delivery in select areas. Subscribers can watch unlimited movies and TV shows with Prime instant video, unlimited music streaming with Prime Music (> 1 million songs), unlimited photo storage and over 500,000 ebooks. Together with Amazon Fresh – food and groceries delivery; Amazon restaurants – restaurant food delivered and Amazon Tickets – pre-sale access and premium seating options at live events…you might consider early retirement. Although Prime hasn’t hit these shores yet, it’s only a matter of time, as Amazon complete their fourth data centre on the Airton Road in Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Though worldwide retail ecommerce growth slows, Amazon’s growth continues to accelerate (see Table 2.)

How to succeed on Amazon (or how to succeed online!)

  • 80% Sales:
    Efficient Operations
    High Quality Content
  • 20% Sales:
    Value through Innovation


HAI recently ran an ecommerce workshop with Jeff Sheridan from Matrix Internet. Jeff explained how to design your ecommerce platform to convert viewers into customers, with outcomes to inspire you with new ideas and insights into how customers think and buy online. The workshop will give you the knowledge and skills to understand, research, appraise and consider ecommerce for your organisation.

Garret Michael from Topline Archers attended the course and commented.“ The workshop was very interesting. It’s opening up new avenues to us that we mightn’t have thought about too much, Jeff is very well informed and clued in and has definitely given us a few good pointers that we wouldn’t have thought of.”

If you would like to find out more information about the next course Jeff will be doing, contact Aoife on 01 298 0969 or