Some people assume drones are only a military invention, but Amazon is debunking that urban legend with a new program called Amazon Prime Air. It would utilize drones to drop packages at people’s houses across the country in what Amazon is saying would only take 30 minutes or less. In a segment on 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said that the project is about five years from full roll-out, largely because of FAA regulations and municipal legalities that the company is sorting through. Nonetheless, the future is here: get ready to see drones piloting packages to your door – what you want, when you want it.
Many online business models make timely customer service problematic. When something goes wrong, often the only person reacting to it is the customer. Amazon is advancing this model in its video streaming service by enabling automated refunds to customers who have received less than ideal service due to a problem on Amazon’s end. The systems developed by the distribution giant automatically detect situations sub-par service instances affecting user experience, and issue refunds. This model is more expensive, but CEO Jeff Bezos notices that it “surprises, delights, and earns trust,” which may be more valuable in the long run than the small amount the company may refund.
Amazon’s payment system just gained another method in Amazon Coins, an online currency designed to encourage Kindle Fire users to buy apps and in-app items. When the currency is launched in May, Amazon will give away tens of millions of dollars worth of free Amazon Coins before enacting the standard purchase rate of 1 US Cent per coin. While the purchase of Amazon Coins is a somewhat cumbersome process, perhaps it will make some Kindle owners feel more inclined to spend big on Farmville.