This week, Amazon announced it highly-anticipated mobile device, the Fire phone. Although fairly standard in its design and specifications, (with a display capable of displaying 3D-esque images being the one true USP), it could yet be one of the most game-changing devices released this year.
Consumer habits are changing, as people use their mobile devices for more and more functions. Recent research estimates that by 2019, nearly a third of all transactions made in the UK will be made by methods such as mobile payments, vouchers, coupons and PayPal.
Amazon’s device could be the catalyst for such growth, and what could set it apart is its Firefly function, which uses visual scanning to quickly identify items before taking you to the company’s site. So if you saw a certain book on a friend’s desk or coffee table, Firefly can scan and find the same book on Amazon.com, where you can order your own copy.
But it’s not just good for books (which historically were Amazon’s core products). CEO Jeff Bezos said that Firefly will be capable of recognising over 100 million items – including 245,000 movies and TV episodes, 160 live TV channels, 35 million songs and 70 million products.
With all of this, why would you need to go to a traditional high street shop? Amazon has already announced plans to move into food delivery through its Prime service, marking another area it can take away from competing retailers, and meaning that the era of a truly ‘one-stop shop’ could be closer than we think.
So get ready to ditch the Nectar card and throw away your chequebook, because very soon you could well be doing your weekly shop from your phone. And if Firefly becomes popular, we could see impulse buying dominating the world of commerce, as consumers lose the last barrier between seeing and wanting an item and having to go and purchase it.