We all love the quality and brand experience that Whole Foods offers, right? And we all love the convenience, value, and sheer efficiency of Amazon. So, when these two modern day success stories come together what does it mean for us as consumers, and perhaps equally importantly, what does it mean for retailers and other major brands in the electronics industry?
Disrupt or be disrupted
Not a new message, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded. We are in a period of rapid and accelerating change, where global megatrends like our aging populations, urbanization, political unpredictability, and technology advances are creating a perfect storm. Many brands tell us their greatest fear is irrelevance and the challenge of keeping pace with change, whilst watching for traditional and unexpected competitors is becoming increasingly difficult. When an acquisition like this one occurs, it reminds us that change happens. Retail outlets are closing on all sides of the main street, but Amazon is opening stores and it now finds itself in the competitive world of groceries.
Lesson: Collaborate with the right partner to explore every option and avoid irrelevance!
Every company is a tech company
Amazon has, and continues to lead the retail world with the use of technology. Further, it continues to be a leader in the development of new retail technologies. Whether it is drone delivery, driverless vehicles, or high speed supply chain agility, Amazon is without doubt one of the pioneers in the retail world. Technology drives much of what Amazon uses to stay ahead, to stay current, to lead a hugely competitive race. It only takes a glance at a list the world’s most valuable companies to see that half of the top twenty and 100% of the top four are technology companies.
Bringing a product to market is no longer just about the product, it’s about the entire ecosystem. Creating a good user experience and a community of users, that become brand ambassadors can be the difference between market leadership and being an ‘also ran’.
Lesson: Everyone, from the smallest startup to the largest corporation, needs a nerdy best friend!
If artificial intelligence is the answer, what’s the question?
It is becoming increasingly clear that we underestimate the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) at our peril. Data is the lubricant for commerce, and the diligent use of real-time data, particularly in self learning systems, can be the route to retail nirvana. Amazon has used this effectively to suggest other purchases, to understand buyers’ habits and to stock the items that people are likely to want when they want it. This doesn’t just mean in the warehouse, this means deployed stock of popular items that can be delivered same day, competing with in store retail head-to-head.