Millennials Devoted to Amazon for Tech Shopping

A new study from consumer-tech communications firm Max Borges Agency has found that millennials are highly devoted to online retail giant Amazon. In a survey of 1,108 U.S. millennials conducted May 30 to June 14, fewer than one in four said they would buy a tech product elsewhere if it wasn’t available through the online retailer, according to the “How America’s Largest Living Generation Shops Amazon” report.

When asked if they would give up sex and alcohol for a year versus giving up Amazon, 77% choose Amazon over alcohol, and 44% chose Amazon over sex.

Prime shipping was a huge motivator for three of four millennials in purchasing tech on Amazon. In an analysis of shopping habits, the report found that 78% purchased between one and five tech devices on Amazon in the past year; 61% shopped while awake in the middle of the night; and 57% shopped while working. Almost half of respondents shopped while using the bathroom, and 19% admitted to purchasing tech goods while intoxicated.

Tech purchases outweighed all others, at 61%, followed closely by clothing, shoes and jewelry at 60%. The survey found smartphones were least likely to be purchased on Amazon, as respondents still look to brand retailers for assistance, pricing and compatibility. Headphones and mobile accessories, like phone cases, dominated the category, at 54% and 53%, respectively, while only 27% shopped for virtual assistants like the Amazon Echo.

Other millennial shopping patterns uncovered by the report include

  • 71% shopped for tech products on their mobile device;
  • 45% open the Amazon app at least once a day;
  • 84% discover new products on Amazon;
  • 87% research products on Amazon;
  • 90% consult Amazon Customer Reviews before making a tech purchase on the site.

Nearly half who discover consumer tech brands or products on a blog or news site will go to Amazon to buy it.

For higher-cost items, millennial shoppers typically spend more than a week to research it, with two in five consulting expert reviews, and three in four visiting the brand’s site before ultimately buying on Amazon, according to the report.

Customer reviews are a major factor in millennial purchasing decisions, with only 8% likely to buy a product with a three-star Amazon review, rising to 47% with a four-star review.

“Shopping on Amazon has become second nature for many of us, and has become a powerful hub for the online purchase of consumer tech products,” said Lindsay Stuart, VP of business intelligence at Max Borges Agency. “Where millennials are concerned, we wanted to show exactly how relevant this retailer is to the group, and why brands need to understand their research and shopping habits, and how better to serve this generation.”

The full report is available at https://www.maxborgesagency.com/how-americas-largest-living-generation-shops-amazon.

 

 

Report: Netflix Most-Recommended Brand in 2018

With more than 130 million subscribers globally, including about 57 million in the United States, Netflix’s appeal would appear to supersede conventional marketing.

Indeed, a new report from tech data firm Morning Consult found Netflix bested other brands when it came to who survey respondents were most-likely to recommend to others. Overall, 74% of adults said they would be very likely to recommend the streaming service.

That word-of-mouth recommendation goes up to 77% among younger adults age 18-21 (or Gen. Z) and millennials (22-37 year-olds); and 75% among Gen. X (39-53) and 69% among baby boomers (54-74 years old).

Separately, Amazon, for the second year, rated the most-loved brand with a 78.7% favorable rating nationwide. Walmart finished as the brand most respondents (69%) said they were likely to purchase from.

The results are based on 1.5 million domestic survey interviews conducted from the first quarter through early Q4, featuring from 5,000 to 10,000 consumers 18+ queried daily.

 

 

 

Amazon Says Fire TV Stick Most-Purchased Prime Item in 2018

Amazon Dec. 2 announced that its branded Fire TV Stick streaming media device with Alexa voice-recognition software was the top-selling item for Prime members in 2018.

That was followed by the Echo Dot home speaker – which was also one of the most gifted items during the week leading up to both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and the best-selling product on Amazon during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday weekend.

The $119 annual Amazon Prime membership platform, which includes Prime Video, is available in 17 countries. Prime Video is available globally and separately for $8.99 monthly.

Top home entertainment honors in the U.S. went to original TV series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (most awarded show – 8 Emmy Awards – on Prime Video),“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” starring John Krasinski, and “Homecoming,” starring Julia Roberts in her first TV show (most binged shows on Prime Video), and Justin Timberlake (most streamed artist on Prime Music).

Notably, “X-Ray,” the bonus material feature available on Prime Video that allows viewers to go behind the scenes of movies and TV shows and get access to cast photos, bios, filmographies, sound track info and trivia, continues to resonate with Prime members.

The top-five series and movies Prime members worldwide used X-Ray included “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Psych,” “The Grand Tour,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and “Vikings.”

Movies included Baywatch; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Transformers: The Last Knight; Twilight; and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

“Prime members worldwide ordered more than two billion products for one-day delivery or faster in the last year, which is pretty amazing,” Cem Sibay, VP of Amazon Prime, said in a statement.

Prime Video stats include:

The top three cities worldwide that streamed the most hours of Prime Video per capita include Santa Clara, Calif., Norderstedt, Germany; and Tokai, Japan.

Prime members in the U.S., U.K. and India streamed more Prime Video than any other country between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. local time.

Night owls in Japan, Germany and Spain streamed more Prime Video than any other country between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. local time.

The nine NFL games thus far on Prime Video and Twitch have combined to reach 20 million total viewers in over 200 countries and territories and all 50 U.S. states.

The top three American cities that streamed the most minutes of Thursday Night Football so far this year include Atlanta, Denver and Seattle.

 The most streamed music artist was Justin Timberlake. Prime members’ favorite albums included Man of the Woods by Justin Timberlake, Camila by Camila Cabello, Astroworld by Travis Scott and Mitchell Tenpenny EP by Mitchell Tenpenny.

Favorite songs sold (and recommended by Alexa) included “The Middle,” by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey; “Lose It,” by Kane Brown; “Idgaf,” by Dua Lipa; “Better Now,” by Post Malone; and “Done for Me,” by Charlie Puth, featuring Kehlani.

Other Prime member favorites included televisions such as the TCL 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV, LG Electronics 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV, Samsung 65-Inch 4K Smart TV

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Why Amazon Should Buy Barnes & Noble

When Amazon launched in 1994, founder Jeff Bezos envisioned his online bookseller competing against local stores and national chains such as Barnes Noble.

And for four years Amazon did just that: Sell books over the Internet more cheaply than anyone else – including Barnes & Noble, which remains one of the last-standing brick-and-mortar book (and packaged media) retailers.

Now Barnes & Noble is in financial trouble. It generated an operating loss of $26.7 million in the most-recent fiscal period. Revenue dipped 2% to $753.2 million.

The Nook segment – B&N’s attempt to compete with Amazon through a branded tablet device and digital (movies, TV shows, music) content – posted a $1.5 million operating loss. Revenue dropped nearly 17% to $21.7 million from $25.9 million last year.

The company hasn’t turned a fiscal profit in nearly two years. It is in litigation with its former CEO over inappropriate workplace behavior allegations and facing a make-or-break winter holiday period – at a time when sales should be booming.

As the retailer looks at “strategic” alternatives, including selling the company – Amazon, by comparison, is minting money.

Having long ago expanded beyond pulp fiction selling merchandise of every variety, in addition to Web services and retail grocery (Whole Foods), the company just posted its best-ever Cyber Monday, with customers ordering more than 180 million items through the five-day Thanksgiving weekend period.

Amazon ended the recent fiscal period with $56 billion in sales and profit approaching $3 billion.

Bezos is one of the richest, if not the wealthiest person on Earth. In 2013, he bought money-losing The Washington Post for $250 million – part vanity play and part attempt to support democracy.

Earlier this year the company became Mercedes-Benz’ largest single customer for the Sprinter van – a fleet order many speculate the company will use for local deliveries.

Acquiring Barnes & Noble would give Amazon 633 retail/distribution locations – many in prime mall locations.

The Amazon/Barnes & Noble store would have lots of cost synergies, including ramping up branded Amazon Go cashier-less convenience concept, showcasing the Amazon connected home (Kindle, Fire TV, Echo Dot, Ring doorbell, banking, etc.) – and selling books.

Amazon: Cyber Monday Biggest Shopping Day in Company History

As expected, Amazon Nov. 27 said Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day in the company’s history with more products ordered worldwide than any other day – including the ecommerce behemoth’s annual Prime Day.

Amazon said consumers worldwide ordered more than 18 million toys and more than 13 million fashion items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.

Adobe Analytics estimated consumers spent more than $7.8 billion shopping on Cyber Monday.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to break records on Amazon year over year,” Jeff Wilke, CEO, worldwide consumer, said in a statement. “With curated gift guides, convenient shopping experiences, product selection, and free shipping, Amazon offers customers tremendous value.”

Weekend highlights included:

  • Sales by small and medium-sized businesses worldwide grew more than 20% on Black Friday year-over-year.
  • Throughout the five-day Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday period, Amazon customers ordered more than 180 million items.
  • Christmas lights were a bestseller on Prime Now.
  • The best-selling products at Amazon 4-star and Amazon Books over the weekend included the Echo Dot, Becoming by Michelle Obama, the Amazon Smart Plug, and the L.O.L. Surprise Series toys.
  • Customers ordered more than four million toys and electronics on the mobile app on Black Friday.
  • The best-selling products on Cyber Monday included the Echo Dot, AncestryDNA: Genetic Testing Ethnicity, Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices, Becoming by Michelle Obama, Jenga, and Instant Pot DUO60 – 6 Quart.
  • The all-new Echo Dot was the #1 selling product on Amazon globally, from any manufacturer, in any category.

Cyber Monday Projected to Set All-Time Sales Record — Despite New Tax Rules

With e-commerce booming year-round, Cyber Monday (Nov. 26), the annual winter retail event closing the Black Friday weekend, is projected to generated $7.8 billion in online sales – 18% above last year’s record tally of $6.6 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.

The figure follows record online spending on Black Friday when consumers spent $2.6 billion the day after Thanksgiving – up 24% from $2.09 billion last year.

Notably, Black Friday and Cyber Monday flourished despite the fact major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon touted online specials ahead of the annual retail event.

More importantly, online sales increased as about 30 states are in the process of implementing taxes for online purchases following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that found the state of South Dakota could force online retailers such as Wayfair and Amazon to charge sales tax even if the companies do not have a physical presence in the state.

The change meant online shoppers could expect to pay upwards 8% more for e-commerce purchases depending where they live.

“If you’re an online shopper looking to avoid paying sales taxes, that’s about to change,” said Julia La Roche with Yahoo! Finance, who added she doesn’t expect sales tax to put a damper on ecommerce going forward.

“People are still going to shop online [for the convenience],” La Roche said.

Amazon closed Nov. 26 up more than 5% at $1,581.33 per share.

‘Narcos: Mexico’ Netflix Debut Pushes Show to No. 6 on Digital Originals Chart

The big winner among digital originals in the week ended Nov. 17 was “Narcos: Mexico,” which shot up to No. 6 on the weekly digital originals chart from No. 14 the prior week with a 38% spike in demand, Parrot Analytics says.

The catalyst was the Nov. 16 debut of the show’s new season. The reset “Narcos: Mexico” jumps back in time to the 1980s to show the origins of the Mexican drug war, a shift from the series’ previous focus on the Colombian cartels.

The drama is one of seven Netflix series to command the top seven spots on the digital originals chart. A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” remained No. 1 on the chart for the third consecutive week, despite a second weekly decline in demand.

The reboot of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” generated 46.8 million average daily Demand Expressions during the week, down more than 16% from the prior week, Parrot Analytics says.

Demand Expressions is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. The metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

“Marvel’s Daredevil,” also from Netflix, moved back up to No. 2, again switching places with “Stranger Things,” which finished the week at No. 3. Both series experienced drops in demand – 2.8% for “Daredevil” and 15.5% for “Stranger Things.”

“House of Cards” and “The Haunting of Hill House” repeated at Nos. 4 and 5.

Ranked at No. 9, Amazon Prime Video’s “Homecoming” is the only half-hour drama series on the chart, with18.6 million average daily Demand Expressions.

It’s followed, at No. 10, by Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” – which reappeared in the top 10 as it resumes production for Season 3.

The third season of the teen drama will be the first without the star of Seasons 1 and 2, Katherine Langford. Langford led the first season as Hannah Baker, the teen who commits suicide after leaving a  box full of cassette tapes for her good friend Clay (Dylan Minnette) that explain the 13 reasons she decided to end her life.

She returned in Season 2, appearing in Clay’s visions, but has since said she will not be around in Season 3.

Langford told Entertainment Weekly, “For me, letting Hannah go was in Season 1; Season 2 was for Clay to let her go. It was being able to assist Clay on that journey as Hannah and let Clay have his moment to let Hannah go.”

In October, it was confirmed that Langford 13 has joined the cast of Avengers 4. While details about the actress’ character have yet to be revealed, The Wrap reported that Langford has already completed filming.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Amazon Partners with Warner Bros. for Early ‘Aquaman’ Theatrical Access

In a first, Amazon is affording Prime members early theatrical access to Warner Bros. Pictures’ DC Comics underwater super heroes movie, Aquaman — beginning Dec. 15.

Directed by James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious), Aquaman stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Nicole Kidman, among others.

The movie, which reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime — one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be … a king, will be released in theaters nationwide Dec. 21 in 3D and 2D and Imax.

Prime members can purchase up to 10 tickets (via Atom Tickets) and screen the movie at one of more than 1,000 theaters, including AMC, Regal, National Amusement Theaters and ArcLight Cinemas.

“Coming together with Amazon to reach their footprint of Prime members in the U.S. is the ideal way for us to bring Aquaman to moviegoers and their families as they kick off their holidays,” Blair Rich, president, worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures Group and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, said in a statement.

Unlike Netflix, which has (until recently) shunned theatrical exposure for its feature-length movies, Amazon continues to embrace the traditional theatrical window ahead of retail and streaming via Amazon Instant Video and Prime Video, respectively.

“Prime offers the best of shopping and entertainment and these early showings of Aquaman are yet another pleasant surprise for members, and one that I’m personally also looking forward to,” said Cem Sibay, VP of Amazon Prime.

Jeff Bezos: ‘Amazon Not Too Big to Fail’

With a market cap approaching $800 billion, and fresh off a well-publicized search for a second corporate headquarter that saw hundreds of cities and local governments outbid each other with billions in incentives, Amazon’s perch atop the retail/e-commerce food chain would appear eternal.

Not so, according to founder/CEO Jeff Bezos, who, when reportedly asked about the burgeoning growth of the company and its ramifications in a staff meeting at the Seattle headquarters, said Amazon would one day perish.

“Amazon is not too big to fail,” said Bezos, according to a recording of the Nov. 8 meeting obtained by CNBC. “In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.”

Bold talk considering Amazon has generated more than $7 billion in profit and $160 billion in revenue in just nine months this year. The company remains one of the largest retailers of packaged and digital media.

And despite spending billions on original content, Amazon continues to promote the “free” Prime Video streaming video service largely as a loss-leader marketing tool – a strategy that unnerves Netflix co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings.

“They are so scary,” Hastings told CNBC in a separate interview last year. “Everything Amazon does is so amazing. How are they doing so many business areas so well? We are continuing to watch them and be impressed with them.”

The company has more than 600,000 employees globally, with plans to add 50,000 more between new co-headquarters in Arlington, Va., and Queens, N.Y.

Amazon is also adding 5,000 employees to a tech center in Nashville, Tenn.

But Bezos warned that failure often follows companies that become more involved with their image than the needs of their customers.

“That will be the beginning of the end,” Bezos said. “We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible.”

But as CNBC learned talking to some Amazon employees, internal image is not what concerns most staffers. Instead, government regulation and antitrust issues do.

Indeed, the European Union and Japan are separately looking into antitrust issues involving Amazon merchant data. In the United States, President Trump has long voiced concern about Amazon’s relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, taxes, impact on small retailers and other issues.

Some observers contend Trump’s apparent animus against Amazon is largely fueled by the fact that The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, often criticizes the president and his policies in print and online.

 

Amazon’s New Co-HQs: Arlington, Virginia, and New York City

Amazon on Nov. 13 announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new co-headquarters.

Amazon, in a news release, says it will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington.

The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America.

In addition, Amazon said it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.

The new Arlington headquarters, in the Washington, D.C., metro area, will be located in National Landing, while the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens.

Amazon says its investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Hiring at both the new headquarters will begin in 2019.

The Operations Center of Excellence will be located in downtown Nashville as part of a new development site just north of the Gulch, and hiring will also begin in 2019.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a statement. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

New York City

In New York City, Amazon says the city will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with an opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City. This includes a refundable tax credit through New York state’s Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000; and a cash grant from Empire State Development of $325 million based on the square footage of buildings occupied in the next 10 years.

Amazon will receive these incentives over the next decade based on the incremental jobs it creates each year and as it reaches building occupancy targets. The company will separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City’s Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP).

Amazon says the community will benefit from New York City providing funding through a Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) program based on Amazon’s property taxes on a portion of the development site to fund community infrastructure improvements developed through input from residents during the planning process. Amazon has agreed to donate space on its campus for a tech startup incubator and for use by artists and industrial businesses, and Amazon will donate a site for a new primary or intermediary public school. The company will also invest in infrastructure improvements and new green spaces.

Arlington, Virginia

In Arlington, Virginia, the National Landing site is an urban community less than 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The area is served by three Metro stations, commuter rail access, and Reagan National Airport – all within walking distance. Amazon says Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with the opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of $3.2 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. This includes a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia of up to $550 million based on $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years. Amazon will only receive this incentive if it creates the forecasted high-paying jobs. The company will also receive a cash grant from Arlington of $23 million over 15 years based on the incremental growth of the existing local Transient Occupancy Tax, a tax on hotel rooms.

Amazon says the Arlington community and Amazon employees will benefit from the Commonwealth investing $195 million in infrastructure in the neighborhood, including improvements to the Crystal City and the Potomac Yards Metro stations; a pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing and Reagan National Airport; and work to improve safety, accessibility, and the pedestrian experience crossing Route 1 over the next 10 years. Arlington will also dedicate an estimated $28 million based on 12% of future property tax revenues earned from an existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for on-site infrastructure and open space in National Landing.

Nashville

The Nashville Center of Excellence will be located in downtown, along the Cumberland River, Amazon says. As part of Amazon’s investment, Tennessee, Davidson County and the city of Nashville will benefit from 5,000 full-time, high-paying jobs; over $230 million in investment; 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of up to $102 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Nashville. This includes a cash grant for capital expenditures from the state of Tennessee of $65 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs over the next seven years, which is equivalent to $13,000 per job; a cash grant from the city of Nashville of up to $15 million based on $500 for each job created over the next seven years; and a job tax credit to offset franchise and excise taxes from the state of Tennessee of $21.7 million based on $4,500 per new job over the next seven years.