retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding Amazon's enduring relationships with shoppers, one MNB user wrote:

It IS about the enduring relationship with Amazon and most retailers don’t see how this is working because they are dealing face to face with their customers and argue that this creates a more personal relationship.

I learned a lesson about this enduring relationship from my son while he was attending boarding school.  I noticed he ordered a lot from Amazon, which was fine—he’s always been a reader, but what he told me (after he was already in college) was that he and all of his friends ordered their condoms from Amazon - they didn’t suffer the embarrassment of the face to face meeting in the local pharmacy and they could get exactly what they wanted from Amazon.  I asked if they ordered anything else in addition to books and condoms.  “Sure, it’s a lot easier to order what you need and Amazon is always adding new things.”

He’s 26 now and remains a dedicated Amazon customer.  Our kids get it.  And the world changes a bit more each year for bricks and mortar retailers.

Got the following email from MNB reader Cater Calico:

I wanted to pass along my most recent experience with targeted marketing. I’m an AT&T customer and my home town is Conway, Arkansas … meaning the cell number I have still traces back to that city. The recent storms did severe damage to the central Arkansas area, namely the cities of Vilonia and Mayflower, both just outside of Conway.

Today I received a text message from AT&T stating that their ‘thoughts were with us and our friends and neighbors during this difficult time’ and any overages incurred during the May billing cycle would be credited back to the account. Now, I can’t remember the last time I got anywhere near my minutes limit, but I think the idea of reaching out is a good one. Personally, I know many families that were impacted by the storm and to see a major company respond in that way got my attention. I don’t plan to take advantage of the overage waiver time, but the fact that I’m writing an email to tell others about it should say something.

Well done AT&T.

Not words you hear a lot … but I'm glad we're giving credit where credit is due.
KC's View: