Is Amazon Pay a no brainer or all danger - Shoptalk 2017 in Las Vegas this month saw an entire half day devoted to the Seattle powerhouse, discussing its marketplace advantages, frictionless payment integrations, apparel own-brand growth, futuristic distribution channels, its continued foray into physical commerce with the RFID haven that is Amazon Go for its employees (soon to be open to the public but has hit a snag this week) and last but not least, Alexa.
Bedazzled by beautiful chart visualisations of Amazon's relentless growth index was like a second coming for the retail world, if there were a modern day messiah, Jeff Bezos would be up for a nomination with this crowd.
"Alexa - Is Amazon good for my Brand?"
OK, Amazon is pretty damn amazing at pretty much everything it moves into but is undoubtedly going to wake up eventually to the realities of how difficult physical commerce actually is (more on that in the future). Their charge full steam ahead is a battle cry that has supercharged enormous growth in all categories, what you do Amazon can do better and it's not just their vastly superior logistics setup that will keep supply chain directors up at night.
However, there is one major tradeoff that brands and retailers alike must consider before jumping into bed with this titan that makes the Seattle Seahawks look like kindergarten kids and that is served up in its purist, raw form... data. Amazon is brilliant at replicating what you do best, taking it in-house and reselling it as their own fulfilment strategy - they excel at monitoring their marketplace growth segments as if they were the Seahawks themselves keeping eye on Tom Brady and that can take the wind out of your sales.
Even worse, the data can be utilised to surface counterfeits of legitimate brands and force the shopper down an alternative route, playing significantly into the hands of driving the price down, commoditising products to the point where margins are squeezing physical retailers out of the online game.
And the positives are?
1) As Amazon use you, you can use Amazon - Don't blame the player, blame the game, so to speak. As a new entrant to eCommerce or a brand seeking to gain further traction, Amazon is a brilliant tool to hi-jack for accelerated growth, if your products are unique and competitively priced, it's a more affordable alternative to supplement online, social and Ad marketing spend.
2) Frictionless one-click payment - the consumer wants payment choice and they require as few obstacles to complete purchases on your own commerce platform. Integrating with Amazon Pay will certainly help to assist customers through the purchasing funnel, reduce cart abandonments and serve up customer data without them having to enter their details (this includes guest checkouts).
3) Amazon have amassed market leading infrastructure that rivals the largest enterprises and they dish it out for next to nothing, in exchange for your data. If you're happy to roll the dice and make your bet, there's an opportunity to win big. For discount and value retailers, where Amazon witnesses colossal returns, you can argue that your product may get lost in the chasm of choice but for products that require some physical approval (such as furniture, DIY, home & garden) there's an open window to out manoeuvre Amazon.
4) A final caveat is ensuring your products are best placed to engage with the conversational commerce market being delivered into the homes of your customers via Alexa with Amazon Echo and the soon to be released in the UK (April 6) Google home assistant. While the Echo's primary function is to drive commerce and sell Amazon services, Google home will throw open Google searches Ad marketplace to buy from more aggressively. With Samsung announcing 'Bixby', Microsoft's Cortana and Apple's Siri, this is a space that will force your brand to at least be searchable in the online sphere or force being relegated to the unknown.
CloudCascade™ for Technology
With our newly launched CloudCascade™ for technology plan - retailers can gain discounts to multiple industry leading platforms in all domains via our accredited partnerships and we include top to bottom team hiring and training for this field on-site following a full brief with your buying, marketing and strategy personnel.
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