Woot has announced that it is being acquired by Amazon.com. The nearly six-year-old Texas-based company has combined unorthodox community marketing tactics with an atmosphere of shopping urgency to create a vibrant e-commerce experience.Gadget, wine and T-shirt online auction company
Woot's core service is to offer one highly discounted item for sale each day, until either time or inventory runs out. The items are of variable quality, but are often just good enough to buy, and the whole experience is a lot of fun. It's an unsurprising acquisition by Amazon, but could have an impact on the larger company.
Update: Read this analysis from an ecommerce perspective - Woot + Amazon = Real-Time Social Shopping
Woot's take on commerce is self-effacing, frenetic, community-driven and fun. The company writes un-serious descriptions of the products it sells and does a daily podcast interacting with listeners.
If you thought Zappos was a gonzo company acquired by Amazon, Woot probably takes the cake. It's a testimony to the fact that you don't have to be a buttoned-up wonk to succeed online (though we probably all knew that already, right?).
Supply Chain Speed-Up
As we wrote about the Zappos acquisition 11 months ago, Amazon has mastered the art of the scalable supply chain and is in a strong position to drop the costs of any business it acquires substantially.
As we wrote last year:
Lora Cecere, VP of value chain services at AMR Research, says she agrees with Busch. "It's now a multi channel play," she told us. "Zappos deals with quick cycles, Amazon has longer cycles and is warehouse centric. They are really dealing with different supply chains. I wonder if it wasn't a preemptive move to block another competitor from acquiring Zappos."
Much of the same could be said about Woot. It will likely compliment the Zappos team and philosophy and help make Amazon all the more agile. Woot said today that it would operate independently, but it's also safe to assume that the culture of Woot will have an impact on the culture of Amazon. It could even make the mega-retailer a little more fun.