As consumer demands continue to change with each passing trend, one thing remains the same: Consumers want what they want, and they need it now. The biggest online retailer, Amazon, has stepped up its game to outshine any other competitor. With a service called Prime Now, the online retail giant can deliver within the same day, and even within the hour, in 27 U.S. cities. Consumers no longer have to leave the house to quickly pick up an item from the department store; this service has combined the ease of online shopping with the immediacy that consumers have increasingly come to expect.
Amazon’s Prime Now ordering system not only reflects a retail focus on speed, but it also has implications in the growing connectivity of the world. This type of delivery used to be restricted to sending flowers and chocolates, but now consumers have diverse warehouses of goods at their fingertips. One amazing use of the Amazon same-day delivery system became evident in the wake of the recent tragedy in Orlando.
As the city banded together to donate blood and able bodies, those too far away to help were left feeling helpless. Then, the Pulse nightclub shared a Facebook post asking for donations of food and drinks to support the overwhelming number of blood donors. Those in Orlando shopped locally and dropped off what they could. But the game changer came when a man unable to deliver his donation in person had 20 cases of water and hundreds of snacks delivered via Prime Now within the hour — and posted a screenshot of his order.
And so it continued. A woman from Oklahoma shared her order of juice, also to be delivered within the hour. Another woman from Scotland shared her order; then a woman from Arizona did the same. From thousands of miles away, people were helping the relief effort with tangible goods. It was as close as they could get to actually being there, and it unveiled the unprecedented role of wireless retail in the participation of disaster relief.
For now, this service is available only in select U.S. cities, but you can imagine the benefit of its use in global disasters. Instead of donating money to organizations after earthquakes, hurricanes and deadly attacks, we can now send exactly what the affected need. The world now has the resources to send help when they cannot personally provide it. The ability of individuals to join larger organizations in providing disaster relief will make the world feel a little smaller and make us all feel a little less helpless. Of course, there remains a question of resources and infrastructure, but that’s for another day. For now, here’s to the helpers and hopeful thinkers!