BrainTrust Predictions 2016: Amazon’s momentum
Amazon easily emerged as the most likely retailer to find success in 2016 in a poll of a RetailWire BrainTrust panelists. That’s understandable as research shows one out of every three online product searches now begins at Amazon.com, and that the website accounts for about half of all online sales.
“No conversation about the future of retail is complete without acknowledgment of Amazon,” said Dave Wendland, VP, Hamacher Resource Group. “This retailer has more than earned its place center stage among retailers … and that is not changing anytime soon. Variety, reliable/predictable delivery, fair prices, and constant reach toward their next ambitious goal.”
Lee Peterson, EVP brand, strategy & design, WD Partners, believes the onslaught of online shopping seen over Black Friday weekend will prove to be another tipping point for online shopping and Amazon ranks as the clear leader.
“As Mickey Drexler put it, ‘How do you compete with a giant that doesn’t want to make money?,’ right?” said Mr. Peterson. “There could be other major benefactors of e-com like Best Buy and even Jet, but without a doubt, this is Amazon’s time.”
Dick Seesel, principal, Retailing In Focus LLC, however, said Amazon not only benefits from scale, “but also because they continue to push the boundaries of category dominance and great execution.”
Ben Ball, SVP of Dechert-Hampe, felt Amazon would particularly benefit in the coming year from the continued growth in the same day/next day delivery model for immediate purchase occasions.
Added Arie Shpanya, founder & executive chairman, Wiser, “Amazon has the resources to constantly push the envelope, including its latest drone ideas and successful debut of Prime Day. Despite some bad press on working conditions in 2015, I think Amazon has a lot to look forward to in 2016.”
Keith Anderson, VP, strategy & insight, Profitero, predicts Amazon will continue to outpace e-commerce growth by one to two times, and potentially accelerate. Beyond maintaining price leadership and leading on selection with new initiatives like Merchant-Fulfilled Prime, Mr. Anderson notes that Amazon is investing aggressively in enabling ever more convenient ways of buying and receiving goods like Dash, Echo, and Prime Now.
Mr. Anderson added, “Unlike many retailers, they’ve invested over longer timescales in platforms that yield sustainable advantage and accrue value exponentially — and the cat is out of the bag that they’re more in control of their financial destiny than the critics acknowledge.”
Do you see Amazon gaining more momentum in 2016? What developments will be most critical to its success? Which initiatives are you most interested in following?