How Amazon is winning in the ‘Now Economy’

by: on 22 April 2015

SYZYGY Group’s psychologist Dr Paul Marsden argues that digital is no longer about the New Economy; it’s about winning in the Now Economy.

"Amazon’s Now Economy initiatives are not about communicating value in real-time, but about creating and capturing value in real-time."

Dr Paul Marsden, consumer psychologist

Amazon is betting big on the ‘Now Economy’ with two new services for a generation of impatient digital natives who crave instant gratification and immediate satisfaction, and for whom only the current has currency.

The first is an ‘Uber-for-Everything’ service for your home life. Tap for service on 700+ home services from home cleaners, electricians, gardeners, tutors and plumbers. Like Uber, Amazon Home Services operates as a broker for independent service providers (background-checked, insured and licensed), matching supply and demand, and managing the transaction for a cut (20%).  It’s like an app store for your home life. Amazon Home Services offers Uber-style upfront pricing, verified reviews, and the service equivalent of free returns - a ‘happiness guarantee’ that refunds you if you’re not happy with the service. 

Amazon Home Services, like Uber, is another example of ‘convenience tech’ that delivers services on demand and that is designed to save you time, effort and hassle. In the Now Economy, content is no longer king. Convenience is King.

The second new Amazon service for the ‘Now Economy’ is Amazon Dash Buttons - free branded wifi-connected buttons for your kitchen and bathroom that you can tap for automatic reordering via Amazon. Dash buttons are available for popular razors, soda, coffee, detergents, diapers, tissues, pet food and more. The Dash Button, like Uber, is designed to save you time, effort and hassle in re-ordering products. And like Uber, it’s an on-demand tap for service offer. Where it differs from Uber of course is that the Dash Button Service is not a broker for independent providers. But from a consumer perspective, it’s effectively an Uber for your kitchen and bathroom, and promises to bring the Internet of Things to the mainstream consumer market.

In a world where real-time is the new prime time, Amazon is using digital innovation to cater to real-time needs of the Now Economy by responding in real-time to consumers’ needs.  This is a very different kind of real-time marketing to the standard fare of real-time interruptive advertising or real-time social media spam. Amazon’s Now Economy initiatives are not about communicating value in real-time, but about creating and capturing value in real-time.

Whichever flavour of real-time marketing works for you, digital is no longer about the New Economy; today it’s about delivering in the Now Economy. Digital marketing and innovation needs to thrive in a world where instant gratification takes too long. That means competing in a Now Economy where we’re all live streaming, periscoping, meerkatting, fast shipping, multi-tasking, speed dating, selfie snapping, hashtagging, geo-tagging, time shifting, heartbeat tracking, paycheck checking, Netflixing, home automating, instant messaging, Instagramming, we-chatting, yik-yakking, live blogging, YouTubing, WhatsApping, Snapchatting…  Yes, it’s exhausting, but we’re ‘Generation Now’: we want it all and we want it now as we ‘Carpe’ the tech out of ‘Diem’.

Amazon understands the Now Imperative of the Now Economy. Is ‘now’ the time for your business to get with the program?

By Paul Marsden, psychologist, SYZYGY Group