In a voice test of various categories using the Amazon Echo devices last year, researchers at Bain & Co., found in categories in which Amazon offered a private-label product, Alexa recommended those products 17 percent of the time. Noting that the private label goods represent only about 2 percent of total volume sold, the Bain researchers said, “the online retailer clearly positions its own private labels favorably in voice shopping.”
And as far as American consumers go, Amazon's heft has not hurt the brand, which remains one of the most trusted. The NPR/Marist survey found a staggering 67 percent of American online shoppers say they have "quite a lot" or "a great deal" of trust in Amazon to protect their privacy and personal information, even though the majority of them had little to no such confidence in online retailers in general.
Amazon Studios brings bold and innovative series and films from top tier and up-and-coming creators to customers in over 200 countries and territories. Original productions range from daring and timely subject matter such as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s award-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq; to the critically hailed The Grand Tour, Mozart in the Jungle and Man in the High Castle. In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution exclusively for Amazon Prime members. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for Manchester by the Sea (Best Screenplay, Kenneth Lonergan and Best Actor, Casey Affleck) and The Salesman (Best Foreign Film). Recent notable releases include the box office success The Big Sick, which is one of the top streaming films on Prime. Upcoming films in 2018 include Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth, Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself, Luca Guadagnio’s Suspiria and Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy.
But Amazon holds a unique position in the global marketplace. From its beginnings in 1994, Amazon’s platform was designed to democratize retail. Small vendors or manufacturers could sell outdoor grills, computer bags, and children’s toys alongside established brands. Now, with its expansion into private label, Amazon has shifted away from being an impartial, may-the-best-product-win distribution partner to being a direct competitor to those other vendors.
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If fighting over the last hot tech item in stock or waiting in hour-long check-out lines sounds like your worst nightmare, buying directly from Amazon is your best bet. And if you’re not already a Prime member (which gets you free, two-day shipping on pretty much everything you could ever need), we recommend it — especially if you’re not a plan-ahead kind of shopper.
Amazon also offers its own Elements line of products, only available to Prime members. The product line ranges from baby wipes to vitamins. The idea is that Amazon goes the extra mile of telling you exactly where the product came from. In the case of those wipes, I can tell you liquid inside is 97.9 percent pharmaceutical-grade purified water from the White Lick Creek Aquifer in Moorseville, Indiana.
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Available in the Amazon app under Programs, Outfit Compare is a quick service that helps you figure out which outfit looks better on you, regardless of whether the clothes are purchased from Amazon. A fashion specialist takes into account how the clothes fit you, which colors look best on you, how the outfits are styled, and what's on trend right now.
In August 2007, Amazon announced AmazonFresh, a grocery service offering perishable and nonperishable foods. Customers could have orders delivered to their homes at dawn or during a specified daytime window. Delivery was initially restricted to residents of Mercer Island, Washington, and was later expanded to several ZIP codes in Seattle proper. AmazonFresh also operated pick-up locations in the suburbs of Bellevue and Kirkland from summer 2007 through early 2008.