Expanding Amazon's Mayday button: Five new uses to ponder

Summary:Mayday could be used for a bevy of other applications if Amazon mimicked its approach third-party sellers and its Fulfillment by Amazon program.

amazon mayday button

Amazon's Mayday button---a tech support feature embedded on the latest Fire HDX tablets---put customers in touch with the e-commerce giant in about 9 seconds and may have opened the door for more applications.

The company's Mayday support teams reside in its usual call centers. Amazon has said that it had thousands of Mayday support help on Christmas taking customer calls.

In the end, Amazon's Mayday approach---akin to a virtual Apple store Genius Bar---worked out well as a proof of concept that can engender loyalty among customers. In fact, Mayday could be used for a bevy of other applications if Amazon mimicked its approach third-party sellers and its Fulfillment by Amazon program.

Here are some other uses for Amazon's Mayday button that could yield returns for Amazon:

  • Personalized buying recommendations. Amazon already recommends books, music and purchases for customers. The Mayday support team could add buying coaches that could serve as shopping concierges that help someone find a gift. Perhaps Amazon starts with a general shopping coach and then works toward a more specialized approach.
  • Specialists by category. Amazon could add electronics experts, film buffs, music insiders and foodies to offer real-time counsel on products, shopping and tips. It's unclear what the volume on these specialist Mayday calls would be, but Amazon could play it up with celebrities such as Emeril in the cooking category.
  • Third party support. Let's put aside the liability concerns for a second and ponder a day where third parties could use the Mayday platform and Amazon's platform for their own businesses. Psychoanalysis may be a bit of a stretch for the Mayday button, but life coaching may fit. Personal trainers could use Amazon as a channel. The virtuous cycle for Amazon would look like this: Personal trainer uses Mayday platform, the company collects a fee and then sells self-help, exercise and dieting books.
  • App integration. You want developers loyal to Amazon's flavor of Android? Integrate the Mayday button. In this context the Mayday button is a vehicle to get Amazon customers directly to the company behind the app. Mayday for a video game developer could be handy for tech support. Mayday for an app like MyFitnessPal could open a new revenue stream for the developer. In either case, Amazon's ecosystem benefits.
  • AWS integration. The Mayday button could also have enterprise applications. What if AWS launched a Mayday service that doubled as a white label version so companies could offer faster support?

Topics: E-Commerce, Amazon


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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