Give Them Something Alexa Can’t – How Business is Changing For 2020


Over the holiday season, I had what most couples have – a huge “honey-do” list! Like most people, I just grin and bear it, but the most amazing thing happened, Alexa took my money! I hate shopping at this time of year, but Alexa took my pain away this holiday season. This got me wondering “if retailers can’t get my money, why is Alexa?”

Alexa, Take My Pain Away!

During the holidays I installed an Alexa Dot, ok maybe I just plugged it into the wall and downloaded an app, to run my Christmas tree. I traveled the three blocks to my local big-box retailer, bought a three-pack of plug-in outlets for $24.99, and set it up. Now my Christmas tree comes on between 9:00 am and 10:00 pm as well as my outside Christmas lights in less than one hour. It seems trivial, but my wife always seems to asks me to unplug the tree or the outside lights just as I get into bed. This solved a pain for me, for roughly $80.00, I never have to turn on/off the tree again.

Alexa, Take My Money

As I explored the two-page manual, for the plug-in outlets, they read compatible with Alexa. I simply opened the Alexa app, it asked me “if I wanted to add my outlets in Alexa” and I replied “Yes”.  Now I had a voice-controlled table lamp, Christmas tree, and outside lights. Now you might be reading this thinking “Welcome to 2018” but more importantly I want to describe how Alexa took more of my money.

The original purpose of the Echo Dot, I purchased, was to stream music from my Denon HEOS that I purchased for a working demo. One evening before Christmas, I asked Alexa to play me “the top 100 most played classic rock station”, and Alexa asked me “if I would like a 30-day trial to Amazon Music Unlimited” and I answered “yes”. Alexa just got at least four more dollars from me, because I will probably forget to cancel before January 20th, 2020.

If She is Not Happy, I’m Not Happy

My wife makes Nuts & Bolts using Crispix cereal, so like I good husband, off to Safeway I went. They were out of Crispix, and the price was $7.99. I ended up going to three other retailers, and no cereal! I can’t go home empty-handed, or I will have a grumpy mommy bear. I pulled out my phone in desperation, and asked Alexa “can you get me Crispix cereal”, she said “yes, it’s $3.99 with next day delivery with amazon prime, would you like me to order it?” and I said yes. Within five minutes, I had confirmation of shipping, etc.

A Woman Scorned

We have a local gas bar and convenience store within two blocks of our home that sells some produce, bread, etc. On Christmas day, my wife needed one tomato and they charged her $4.00! Do you think my wife will ever buy food or gas from this store again?

This Amazon Thing, it’s a Fad…

Ask yourself how can I make my customers’ pain go away? What can I provide that Alexa cannot? Let’s face it, Amazon isn’t going away, and they are constantly finding new ways to take your customer’s money. These were everyday examples that normal married people have every day. If the grocery store had stock or the local convenience store charged a fair price, they would have gained a customer. Instead, they forced a customer to look elsewhere to take their pain away. What pain relief can you provide for your customers, and how are you going to tell them about it?

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