The pandemic has upended the way people buy—online retail has soared as high-street shops and malls close. Brands are now racing to exploit one of the most important weapons in the battle for buyers: their customers’ data.
Since the beginning of this century, Amazon has emerged as a pre-eminent giant of retail. How? by creating an expectation among consumers that next day, or even same day, delivery is not only possible but basically routine for a dizzying array of consumer products. Millions of Amazon Prime customers all over the world have now come to expect this astonishingly swift service on countless items as standard, and this has put great swathes of the traditional retail landscape in trouble. So today, we’re going to look at how Amazon delivers packages so fast. Let’s pick a typical Amazon product as an example. Say you need a bicycle pump. How will Amazon get that bike pump delivered to your door, the very next day? How Amazon Delivers Packages So FastSHOW LESS
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Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer, and its CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man, for one very good reason. His company is better than anyone else, ever, at giving people what they want, quickly. Amazon acquired its undisputed status as heavyweight champion of the retail universe thanks largely to its lightning-fast delivery times.
The astonishing feat of ferrying hundreds of millions of items, from guitar strings to saucepans to car parts, directly to your door, inside 24 hours, is nothing short of a modern logistical miracle. So how does Amazon do it? A super-smart army of slave robots, for one. Ingenious, if occasionally unscrupulous, management practices are part of the answer too.
And the modern-day voodoo of deep-learning AI – all of which are made flesh in the most advanced stockrooms the world has ever seen. So join us today, as we button up our hi-vis jacket and journey inside Amazon’s smart warehouses.
Each week, e-grocer FreshDirect delivers 100,000 grocery boxes direct to customers’ doors. It all happens from its Bronx warehouse, the size of 11 football fields. Using an advanced AI system, temperature controls, nine miles of conveyor belt, and a fleet of delivery trucks, the company is able to cut out three steps in the normal grocery store supply chain. Business Insider visited the warehouse to see how the company moves 3 million grocery items a week in the face of unprecedented pandemic demand.
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Photo Illustration: Carlos Waters/ Video: Jake Nicol/WSJ