E-commerce giant Amazon has bought tech startup Ring for a little over $1 billion.
Why does this news matter to you as an e-commerce business owner or marketer? Because this acquisition is going to give you a glimpse into the future and where e-commerce is heading.
Here are my thoughts on Amazon's newest buy.
What is Ring?
Amazon just spent a little over $1 billion to buy a company that sells doorbells.
Yes, you read that right. They produce doorbells.
But not just any doorbells, smart doorbells.
Ring creates smart doorbells that sync up to your computer or smartphone. When the doorbell is pressed, the homeowner can make a range of actions directly off their smartphone or computer, such as let the person in or speak to them through the device.
Why would anybody want that?
Let' say you've ordered a product that is set to be delivered at 2pm but you're at work. By using a smart doorbell, you could open the door using your phone and let the delivery person place your package inside your home. Or you could speak through your doorbell and let the delivery person know where to place your package.
It makes deliveries friction free.
Amazon to sell bigger things?
For the most part, everything Amazon sells is very easy to deliver.
Visit their homepage and you'll see that every item they show is relatively small.
As well as trying to compete with Google and Apple in the smart home space (they already have a portable speaker), I think in the future we could see Amazon expanding its product ranges to focus on bigger items such as furniture, white-glove goods, garden products, and more.
You always have to be home when such a large delivery arrives, and then there's the hassle of setting it up and placing it in your home. What if Amazon did all that for you? You'd probably start making all your big purchases from there.
The smart doorbell could also change the way we return items. You could leave the item somewhere in your garden and let the delivery person know where to find it through your doorbell.
We are many years away from these ideas coming into effect, but this could soon become a real possibility.
Amazon has already branched out into the food sector by taking over Whole Foods. Did someone say online food and grocery delivery?
This type of technology could even be used in the home rental space. If you've used Airbnb before, it can sometimes be tricky to pick up the keys to your place; using a smart doorbell, the homeowner can let you in without having to meet you or hide the keys somewhere.
Amazon isn't scared to enter markets it has no place to be in. The acquisition of these types of businesses will give them more room to spread their wings.
Amazon understands that the easier it is for a consumer to buy a product, the more successful they'll become as a brand.
They have already changed the e-commerce game with their Prime membership, same-day delivery, one-click purchase, and Kindle/audiobooks.
If they can successfully break into the smart home market, who knows – maybe they'll take over Ikea next?
What are your thoughts on Amazon's acquisition of the startup Ring? What direction do you think they are focusing on?