There has been a lot of focus on what has been unfolding in the US retail sector recently, whether it’s been the decline of Sears or the dominance of Amazon. It’s not just Western companies looking east that’s grabbing headlines. Chinese retailer JD.com is eyeing expansion in Europe, and has Amazon’s dominance there firmly in its sights.
Our comprehensive report on the Holiday Shopping Season of 2017 had some fascinating insights. Experts have noted that perhaps most surprising was Amazon’s bigger-than-expected gains, and their dominance over the e-commerce ecosystem. Here, we’ll unpack this to get a deeper understanding of what they are doing right, and how you can benefit.
Machines are going to level the e-commerce playing field, and allow almost any participant to compete smartly with the likes of Amazon and Alibaba, as well as enabling the likes of Walmart and eBay to win back hundreds of millions of dollars every month from Amazon.
Retail has really come a long way, and is on the forefront of the intersection between tech and commerce. This has become a battleground, where the stakes are high – trillions of dollars in revenues – and the competitors are constantly trying to outwit and outflank each other to achieve global domination. Here, we’ll look at some of the moves, both strategic and tactical, that are going down in this exciting war for wallets.
Many e-commerce intelligence solutions use ratings and reviews as a mechanism to predict things like seller performance, or sales of a product or brand. A common algorithm used in such products predicts sales performance based on reviews received. With what can be described as an epidemic of fake reviews affecting the major platforms, this metric will be wildly inaccurate.
It’s been called “the biggest retail battle of our times”, and is being followed closely by consumers and the market alike. Amazon, leading in e-commerce by a long way, is aggressively expanding into physical, brick & mortar sites; and Walmart, for so long the low price kings of the physical store environment, is moving aggressively into the online space.
CPGs and retailers normally have their decision-making processes rooted in the same information available for the non-digital environment and marketplace (brick and mortar retail), but have been pushing partners and new players to provide high quality information for the digital world. McKinsey said it best when they noted that “After lagging behind other sectors with rocketing online sales, consumer-packaged-goods players are at an e-commerce tipping point.”
Amazon’s Black Friday sales hit a record high of $2.4B across its three major sites in the US, UK and Germany. The US market dominated, as could be expected, hitting $1.8bn in sales; at peak hour, which was 1pm EST, there were 2m transactions taking place.
“Sears is dead”. Such is the impression of retail bloggers such as Retail Archaeology, who have chronicled the fall of the legendary retailer. Business Insider predicts that “failure is a near certainty, according to industry watchers. Analysts are expecting Sears to file for bankruptcy within the next two years, and perhaps much sooner.”
What if one of your competitors’ products was booming, and you didn’t even know about it? How about if some product is the hottest thing this season, and you don’t even stock it? What if you could gauge demand for any product and any category at any online store – and in real-time?