retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Amazon.com yesterday made some news when it announced that it has created a "Never Before on DVD" site with more than 2,000 titles - movies and TV shows - available to consumers for the first time.

Well, I had a chance to thumb through it a bit, and what was interesting to me was how many of the DVDs are being made on demand - in other words, Amazon is only manufacturing them when it gets orders for them. (In many cases, one can download the movies and TV shows, avoiding the need for any sort of physical product.)

Now, there's a lot of stuff on this list that few people ever will be interested in. But the whole "made on demand" approach points to a broader cultural trend. Not only do people expect instant gratification, but companies are going to need to find a way to provide customized content or products that meet their desires. We're quickly getting to the point where everything will be available all the time ... which will create enormous challenges and opportunities for retailers trying to find ways to differentiate themselves.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: