A Fast Growing Market Begins Developing Reliability and Convenience Innovations

In a fast growing market, new Functions and lower Price drive more share gains than do Reliability and Convenience (see Customer Buying Hierarchy descriptions on StrategyStreet.com in the Perspective, “How Customers Buy” and in “Video 25: Short Explanation of Customer Buying Hierarchy”). After awhile, though, market growth begins to slow and Function innovations become less important than innovations in Reliability and Convenience. We can see this developing in the wireless applications market.

This market has been on a tear for the last few years. Recently, Amazon announced that it was planning to enter the market for phone applications by creating an online store selling apps for smart phones running Google’s Android software. Amazon will then compete with Google’s web site offering apps that work on the Android system.

Amazon’s entrance shows developments in both Reliability and Convenience. Amazon offers Reliability innovations in at least two ways. First, Amazon encourages the reviews from its customers of the products it sells. These customer reviews are important sources of Reliability information about a product. Second, Amazon insists that any app it sells will not sell for a lower price anywhere else. This Reliability innovation assures a customer that Amazon will have prices that are competitive with anyone.

Amazon also brings great Convenience to this market. There are so many apps today that the market is becoming chaotic. Amazon will organize these applications in ways that fit with its customer base. Amazon has a long history of doing this very thing with other products. Just as importantly, Amazon already has a working payment arrangement with millions of customers. It is particularly adept at the “one click” payment system, which enables a customer to pay for purchases very quickly.

Amazon’s entry is a good example of a natural evolution in a fast growing market.

Posted 11/29/10