Amazon just added another industry to its business - or hitlist, depending on which way you want to look at it. After diving into food delivery, fashion, media streaming, and cell phones (yes, really), the e-tail giant decided that it wasn't quite finished. Their next move is something rather unusual--they're digging deeper into the smart-home business by partnering with home builders.
A Smart(er) Home
Amazon has partnered with Lennar Homes to display its smart-home devices. Each model house will contain several unique Amazon items such as lights, shades, sprinklers, vacuums, and more (so cool). Of course, each house also contains Amazon's most recognizable products such as Echo and Alexa-- but Alexa is incredibly powerful here. WIth a fully integrated smart home, and just with a few words, customers can have Alexa turn lights on and off, change the music, switch on the television, and stream video feeds of certain rooms (amongst other things). And as someone who is currently going through the home-buying process, I'm pretty jealous.
Also, for a mere $49, you can get an Amazon Expert Home Assessment - a 45-minute consultation session where an expert will help you set up and install all the necessary things you need to upgrade your living space. It might seem a bit superfluous, but it's incredibly futuristic.
On top of all that, Amazon's Home Services ensure that you can get the products you need delivered right to your doorstep. You can automate deliveries or use a Dash Button - a device that orders and delivers pre-selected products with the click of a button. It's a useful, albeit lazy, way of getting extra diapers, toilet paper, coffee, detergent, and other items. They cost a measly $4.99, which is refunded after your first purchase. This offer is, of course, exclusive for Prime members.
Amazon Controls the Stage
Establishing a physical presence isn't entirely new for Amazon, but the integrated smart-home experience showcases just how powerful Amazon's 'full stack' can be--one that can certainly woo new home buyers into baking those devices right into their new home. Let's be serious (not Siri-ous... sorry Apple), whether it's a just a novelty or not, Amazon is going to simply 'wow' with with what they have today, let alone how this will evolve.
I can see it now...
Alexa -- please open the blinds, turn the temperature to 68 degrees, warm a pot of coffee, and go to the latest episode of Westworld.
Uh...Sold. This will amplify the home-buying process in ways we have never seen before and make houses look even more attractive--It's an unbelievably powerful, experiential layer.
For more, head on over to the Amazon Experience Center to see some of the flagship stores. You can visit the stores in person or view pictures online, each looking like someone's dream home.
The first few flagship homes are located in California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Check the out if you have the chance. Smart-homes might just become an everyday reality.
The magnitude is so large that I wouldn't be surprised if Google & others follow suit (if they aren't already doing so).
Bezos' Quest Continues
Maybe Jeff Bezos isn't quite satisfied with only having $22 billion more than Bill Gates. Maybe Amazon just wants to complete its quest for cross-industry domination. Either way, it's an exciting and innovative move on their behalf that represents something much bigger--and I'm personally quite excited to see it unfold.
Now Alexa, bring me my blanket (please).