Executive Briefings

Amazon: If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

Amazon. To the customer the word is synonymous with low prices, unlimited assortment, and fast and free shipping. To retailers it is a constant reminder that the retail landscape has been forever changed and they need to adopt to keep pace or be left on the outside looking in.

But can it also stand for opportunity? An opportunity for retailers to redefine and reimagine their organizations to compete in today's customer-centric environment. Can it be a rallying call? A mantra of sorts for retailers to remind themselves that while the old way of doing business is gone, it should not be forgotten. And that by embracing their strengths and fortifying their weaknesses they can survive and thrive in the modern marketplace.

The Game Has Changed

The meteoric rise of Amazon over the past 20 years from dotcom startup to e-commerce juggernaut has been well documented. Thanks to a dedication to a unique customer experience and a willingness to take big gambles and develop and implement disruptive technology, Amazon has solidified its position as the undisputed leader in the e-commerce space.

In fact, over the past 12 months Amazon has racked up more than $94bn in online sales, which is nearly $40bn more than the next nine retailers combined, according to data from eMarketer. While some retailers might be content to sit back and watch this river of cash flow in, Amazon knows the key to its success is remaining on the cutting-edge in both experience and technology.

“Amazon is fundamentally a technology company and retailers are routinely being asked to be technology companies,” says Lila Snyder, EVP and president, global e-commerce, Pitney Bowes. “But none of what retailers had to do before has gone away: merchandising, brand management, store ops, consumer experience, etc.”

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But can it also stand for opportunity? An opportunity for retailers to redefine and reimagine their organizations to compete in today's customer-centric environment. Can it be a rallying call? A mantra of sorts for retailers to remind themselves that while the old way of doing business is gone, it should not be forgotten. And that by embracing their strengths and fortifying their weaknesses they can survive and thrive in the modern marketplace.

The Game Has Changed

The meteoric rise of Amazon over the past 20 years from dotcom startup to e-commerce juggernaut has been well documented. Thanks to a dedication to a unique customer experience and a willingness to take big gambles and develop and implement disruptive technology, Amazon has solidified its position as the undisputed leader in the e-commerce space.

In fact, over the past 12 months Amazon has racked up more than $94bn in online sales, which is nearly $40bn more than the next nine retailers combined, according to data from eMarketer. While some retailers might be content to sit back and watch this river of cash flow in, Amazon knows the key to its success is remaining on the cutting-edge in both experience and technology.

“Amazon is fundamentally a technology company and retailers are routinely being asked to be technology companies,” says Lila Snyder, EVP and president, global e-commerce, Pitney Bowes. “But none of what retailers had to do before has gone away: merchandising, brand management, store ops, consumer experience, etc.”

Read Full Article