Show Notes |S3 Ep2 | Amazon’s Impact on Retail
This episode begins our short series discussing Amazon and their impact on Retail. Our series comes at this from a physical retail, online retail and shopper behavior perspective by looking at the offering, tools and services Amazon has introduced and offered their customers, including the end-user customer and retailers in their marketplace.
This episode focuses on how Amazon has changed Retail, especially shopper behavior – both online and offline.
Cristene kicked off the discussion with a bit of history.
Amazon made price shopping much easier. This ability to double check prices led to the term “SHOWROOMING,” where contrary to BOPIS, you visit in store and buy online. We discussed how this practice has become common to this day.
Please note: We credited Retail Dive in our discussion about the survey, but in fact it was Retail Wire that we meant to credit. In addition, the survey is from Airship.com. We apologize for this mistake.
PERSISTING A CART
The notion of PERSISTING A CART was popularized by Amazon too (and one of our personal favorites). Amazon does not stress about items in your cart. What other retailer takes that approach? Because of Amazon, everyone has had to take some action to deal with carts without calling it all “cart abandonment.”
Customers now expect fast delivery. This is part of their decision set regarding where they make their purchase. We discuss the game changer that was Amazon Prime and its launch offering of free 2-day delivery on every purchase and how this is still impacting retailers and brands today, including Nike.
A National Retail Federation survey found a record $761 Billion of merchandise was returned to retailers in 2021. That amount surpasses what the U.S. spent on national defense in 2021 (which was $741 billion). While Amazon has simplified the returns process for their customers, we discuss the impact this has had on the industry and our climate.
Amazon has impacted shopper behavior across all the factors and more, with a less than beautiful website. UX professionals are mortified – while being impressed – with their web design.
LOYALTY & MEMBERSHIP
We discuss loyalty and membership and agree to disagree on the meaning of loyalty. To quote Cristene, “Did they reinvent the loyalty program? No, they created a frequency program that some call loyalty.”
AMAZON PHYSICAL RETAIL STORES
Amazon has played – and is still playing – in physical retail. STORES. But with decidedly mixed results. Success is not a word we would use here. We discuss Whole Foods, Amazon Books, Amazon Go, Amazon Grocery. We can add Amazon 4-Star, another chain of stores that has since been closed.
LUXURY & TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Amazon’s ventures in both of these areas are discussed.
HEROES & CHANGE MAKERS | Our New Feature
Our new feature, Heroes and Change Makers, concluded our discussion.
Jeff offered up: James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble. His turnaround of Barnes & Noble (and Waterstones in the UK) is extremely impressive.
Cristene offered up her local Waste Management Authority and how they are trying to help people divert gently used items to four key locations:
- Habitat for Humanity Restore
- Lancaster Creative Reuse – for unique and affordable arts, crafts and sewing supplies.
- Building Character – 70 little shops that bring recycled and vintage goods together. The largest retail destination in downtown Lancaster and a real unsung hero.
- The 300 Block of North Queen is chockablock with vintage and repurposed stores.
We wrap with four dichotomies:
- Bezos as CEO
- Does technology drive the experience? Or does the experience drive the technology?
- Delivery, Loyalty, Leverage
- Physical retail – if you have a chain of B&M stores, take advantage of this.
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Let’s go shopping!
Jeff Fisher & Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz
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RETAIL DONE RIGHT is produced and hosted by Jeff Fisher & Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz