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Amazon takes a break from pushing you to shop more, focusing on essentials – for now

Needs over wants, for the first time.

Amazon on smartphone
Image: Unsplash

If there is one company that is winning this whole pandemic thing (whatever that means in this context), it’s Amazon. While there could be some variable discussion around that point, its stock hit record highs, even amid worker protests due to shitty working conditions and treatment. Regardless, the American consumer has come to rely on Amazon for, well, everything.

But now Amazon is tricking customers to buy less instead of more. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is retooling its customer-focused commerce site you all know and love in order to do the opposite of what its design is meant to — make people shop less. Amazon’s internal systems are straining, especially after cutting back on accepting non-essential goods from suppliers.

Unemployment is higher than it has ever been in history, but it doesn’t appear the American public — at least those still with jobs and income — are attempting to spend less. You know people are spending those stimulus checks, while Jeff Bezos sits on his mountain of gold, growling at any Hobbit that dares come near it. Fucking billionaires.

Since Americans can’t seem to change their capitalistic behavior, Amazon is doing it for them by dropping any planned promotions, delaying Prime Day indefinitely and not telling you what other customers bought. Where it once would delight in sending you to a higher-priced item instead of the one you chose, or invoke feelings of jealousy by showing you what someone else smartly bought, for now, it’s just focusing on functionality in selling the most essential and needed items.

This might seem like a kindness, but companies are cutting back on advertising budgets, budgets that include things like targeted advertising

There is less money flowing through the system, so Amazon might not be pulling in the kind of advertising dollars it was before. Trimming focus to highlight needs instead of wants when a good portion of the population is financially struggling right now is a smart play.

It should also be noted that Amazon dot com is not the main source of Amazon income. That would be Amazon Web Services (AWS), the spine of the internet. AWS is also under a bit of a strain right now, as the populace has turned to exist almost solely online, but seems to be doing well enough financially as it has waived fees on its AWS IQ service to help businesses stand up and scale work initiatives.

Don’t worry, there are still new iPhones coming so Amazon will be littered with new iPhone cases soon. For the moment, it appears that Amazon’s best strategy for getting you to purchase stuff instead of braving a virus-laden trip to Walmart is to inspire you to purchase less.

We all should be tightening our belts right now, poised and ready to re-open the economy with cash in hand — as soon as Amazon gets back to telling us what to buy that is.

What do you think? Are you still doing a lot of shopping on Amazon? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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