Not Your Father’s PDA… Literally.
For a few glorious years in the late 90s and early aughts, we had access to glorious devices known as PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). These were similar to a smart phone, but had physical keyboards and most didn’t have color screens. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for us) they died a quick death once the smart phone made its way onto the world stage. Luckily for us we once again have PDAs. These don’t have keyboards and listen to you all the time but I’m not convinced one is better than the other.
When Do People Normally Buy Shampoo?
If you’re one of the “normies” you might buy your shampoo at the store, or possibly a flea market (seriously, google it) but if you’re on the cutting edge of life like I am, you might buy shampoo in the shower. If you’re not quite ready to buy shampoo while you’re in the shower, you’ll be doing it soon enough.
If you like to listen to music or podcasts while you’re in the bathroom getting ready for the day, you really can’t beat adding an Echo to your bathroom. It’s cheap, you can control it no matter where you’re at or what you’re doing and (as long as you don’t mind it listening to you in the bathroom) it is a pretty solid tool to help you start the day. So it kind of makes sense to buy shampoo right when you need it, right? Nothing is easier than realizing you’re getting low and saying “Alexa, buy Dove for Men Shampoo”. Then, magically, it appears a couple days later.
So What? It’s Just Shampoo…
Yes, it’s just shampoo, but think about this – if you partake in “in-shower” purchasing of shampoo, you successfully bought this shampoo without ever seeing it. You’re trusting that Amazon knows what you want and will get it to you.
There was a time when people liked to hold things before they bought them (Brick & Mortar Stores) and then there was a time where people didn’t need to hold the items, but were OK buying them as long as they could simply see the items and read reviews (E-Commerce). Now though, we’re getting pretty close where I don’t even need to see an item before I buy it. I just simply have to have enough trust in Amazon to get me the right thing.
And Now Things Get Interesting…
If I decide to put my faith in Alexa, that means that products have to figure out how to be relevant to Alexa’s search algorithms. I believe that you’re going to start seeing companies printing instructions on how to reorder products directly on their labeling. That way they know, that you know, how to order it.
There will be companies that push to get the first listing for shampoo, there will be companies that tell you exactly what to say to Alexa to order the right shampoo and then there is Amazon that will eventually not even need us to tell it what we want. That’s the future I want – I think.