Can Santa Win Against Jeff Bezos? Experts Say Yes

A completely fake blog post for your holiday entertainment, folks.

Bezos and Claus
Jeff Bezos, left; Santa Claus, right

Following a record setting Black Friday, there seems to be no sign of stopping Amazon’s Jeff Bezos–unless, of course, you’re Santa Claus. Snow Angel Research Group completed a survey of 6,587 babies, toddlers and elementary-age kids and found they generally were happier with Claus’ service than that provided by Amazon. Speed of delivery was the number one factor cited in customer satisfaction. Currently, Bezos can deliver within two hours for Prime Now, but Claus has technology that allows him to deliver in mere milliseconds.

While Claus declined to disclose the specifics of his operational systems, toy industry experts speculate Claus has been investing heavily in reindeer management.

“Over the past six months, we’ve seen Claus meet with Fly Feed CEO Sherry O’Beary on at least three separate occasions,” says Ima Spyeng, market analyst with Experience Not Stuff Millennial Corp. “At the same time, we also have reports that Claus has been liquidating some of his mid-tier assets and bringing in high-profile agricultural engineers. Those factors in combination suggest that Claus is looking for additional ways to improve the efficiency of his fleet and keep an edge over Bezos.”

But Bezos still might overtake Claus this season with its own initiatives. On Tuesday Amazon announced the launch of its new Something Better Gift Swap Program. The program, which incorporates a full plate of parental controls, allows children age 0 to 12 to swap an unlimited number of toys they’ve received between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day with other children.

According to an Amazon press release issued on the day of the launch, children can go to the Something Better tab on the Amazon homepage and use the order number of their gift to request a swap, similar to a standard gift return. Amazon then uses AI algorithms to make suggestions based on other items returned through the program. Once the child selects their alternative gift, Amazon sends a confirmation email to parents, who approve or decline the request. If parents approve a request, Amazon uses its standard return options, such as UPS pickup, to retrieve and swap the presents.

Carol Ofdabell, Amazon’s director of next-generation strategy, says the program is a competitive answer to Claus’ standard.

“Today’s tech-savvy kids are all about autonomy and choice,” Bell says. “They really understand that the Internet empowers them to get what best expresses their personality to the full extent of their parents’ budgets, and we’re committed to helping them feel confident in who they are through Something Better. We also are hopeful that this will take pressure off parents, who clearly can’t always hit the mark in gift selection. While we recognize the enormous contribution Claus has made to toy distribution through the centuries, we feel the program is a significant improvement to his traditional you-get-it-you-keep-it model.”

The final verdict likely will come on January 2, 2018. Official reports for both Claus Ventures and Amazon will be released to shareholders that morning.