Why Amazon is obsessed with getting inside our homes

  • Amazon seems obsessed with getting into our homes, but why?
  • It needs more data on users and could get this from products like the Echo and even a rumored Amazon robot.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, speaks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, April 20, 2018.
Rex Curry | Reuters
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, speaks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, April 20, 2018.

Amazon is obsessed with trying to get into our homes.

It has successfully done so by selling millions of Amazon Echo speakers, which are capable of everything from video chat to ordering diapers and reading the weather. Its delivery drivers are able to enter, too, through the Amazon Key in-home delivery service.

And now a report from Bloomberg on Monday suggests it wants to ship robots that roam around our homes as soon as next year. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.)

What's with Amazon's desire to infiltrate its customers' houses?

Part of it might be related to customer service, something with which CEO Jeff Bezos seems to be equally, if not more, obsessed. The Echo lets you do such things as track your Amazon orders, buy products easily and play music from Amazon Prime music. And the Amazon Key helps customers avoid so-called "porch pirates" who might otherwise steal packages from Amazon's customers. Amazon Key isn't very good yet, but it does set out to solve a very specific problem for some people.

Amazon wants more data, too, so let's think about what a smart robot for Amazon might offer both the consumer and the company.

This is purely hypothetical, but maybe the robot will be able to zoom around the house with a camera, speaker and microphone — a sort of self-driving Alexa assistant that can follow you around with all of what Amazon has to offer at all times. Need shampoo? Call the robot over and order it. Want to play a movie on your Amazon Fire TV? Ask the robot.

The robot might also be able to send information back to Amazon.

If it knows the floor plan of a house — and it would need to in order to move around without bumping into walls — it might also know a bit more about the people who live there. Are you in a big house in a nice area of town? Maybe you're able to spend more. If it has cameras, maybe it might know you need a new couch or a handyman to come fix your windows through Amazon Home services. Maybe it can even recommend these options to you, all while keeping you within Amazon's ecosystem of products and services.

Amazon needs to get into our homes because it needs more information about its customers that it can't get elsewhere.

"Amazon needs more data to better serve its customers by offering the best Prime products and services exactly when they need them," Patrick Moorhead, president and founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, told CNBC.

"It doesn't get search or mobile data like Google or social data like Facebook, so it needs to get it a different way," Moorhead said. "Amazon with Alexa has risen above search and social. Amazon likely could create a home robot, but I think that's secondary to selling everything you need whenever you need it."

In order to sell everything we need whenever we need it, Amazon needs to be with us at all times, even if a smartphone isn't in our hand. That's probably why it's trying to get into our homes.

— CNBC's Eugene Kim contributed to this report.

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