Amazon Cash & Connect Remove Friction from E-Commerce

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There’s no reason not to shop from or sell through Amazon. At least that’s the sentiment the company is trying to instill.

And the latest offerings from the online retailer—which has become the benchmark for all things Internet related—remove even more friction from both buying and selling.

The company has rolled out Amazon Cash, a way for shoppers to order goods without having a credit card. Similar to Paypal’s My Cash Card, all a consumer has to do is get a barcode from Amazon, take it to a participating retailer like CVS and add money to his or her account. It’s free, and they can add anywhere from $15 to $500 at a time to the account.

The move no doubt is positioning the e-tailer to have better penetration into markets where credit cards and bank accounts are much more rare than they are in the U.S. Based on a 2015 Federal Reserve survey of more than 5,600 Americans, 77 percent of respondents have at least one credit card and only 8 percent had no bank account at all.

Amazon could also be preparing for the next wave of consumers, who may view credit cards like some already view driver’s licenses: unnecessary. According to a 2014 survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 63 percent of the 1,000 millennials polled are living credit card-free.

And, of course, Amazon Cash will also serve those who would rather not put their personal information online.

On the seller side, Amazon Web Services has introduced a plug-and-play customer service product that’s purported to be cheaper and easier to use than existing services. And it’s a tested model since it’s based on the same technology the retailer uses for its support needs.

Amazon Connect is said to set up in minutes and scale to a company’s needs based on its business cycles. Further, the only fee is the per-minute usage charge.

The call center capability is designed to facilitate improved customer experiences by routing calls to the most appropriate agent in a timely manner. Amazon also promises fewer headaches for retailers as they manage agents and track performance. According to the site, “Amazon Connect provides customizable real-time and historical metrics, so your contact center manager can make data-driven decisions to increase agent productivity and reduce customer wait times.”


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