Amazon: an eCommerce Hurricane

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Long ago, Kleenex (a specific brand) became synonymous with facial tissue (the general product). Band-Aid enjoyed the same popularity. In the digital age, we’ve seen Google become so ingrained in online life that it has become synonymous with “online search.” Netflix, too, has become a sort of stand-in for any online streaming service. But is there a brand synonymous with “unabating growth in eCommerce?”

If there is, it must be Amazon.

Consider this: Amazon can claim 44% of all eCommerce sales. That’s nearly half. It is a force of nature in the world of eCommerce – unstoppable, powerful, awesome – much like a hurricane.

As Amazon’s incredible growth continues, here are three things to make note of in 2018:

1) Amazon Competes Across Markets

Amazon has grown (in value, size, market shares, infrastructure, etc.) across a whole stretch of varying markets. Consider just some of the markets in which Amazon has been successful:

Basic Online Sales – in the U.S. alone, close to 55% of people begin product searches on Amazon.  Amazon does nearly 4% of all U.S. retail sales. Those numbers will likely continue to go up in 2018.

Technology – devices like the Kindle, the Kindle Fire, and the Amazon Echo continue to offer real competition to technology-focused companies like Samsung and Apple.

Advertising – this ranks among Amazon’s fastest-growing markets. While you may not have noticed ads on Amazon, they are there. And they are effective – generating Amazon nearly $1.81 billion in online ad revenues.

There are, of course, many, many other markets in which Amazon is succeeding. And there are many more industries that Amazon has not yet entered which are looking over their shoulders, worried.

2) Amazon is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

There have been plans floating around the internet for years about real, brick-and-mortar stores for Amazon. These may include fabulous technologies (like a shopping cart that automatically scans your items as your put them in, then charges you as you exit the store). When, and if, these stores make their way into our cities, they will undoubtedly change the nature of retail/grocery sales entirely.

But Amazon has made a clear step towards brick-and-mortar presence: it’s 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods Markets. This purchase immediately took Amazon’s status as an online sales giant and added to it a respectable presence in the grocery market. They now own nearly 400 stores, and have their foothold into a $770 billion industry.

3) Amazon is Shaping Your eCommerce Plan

With its immense success and leadership in eCommerce, Amazon is affecting your eCommerce strategy. Even if your organization isn’t selling anything directly to or through Amazon, you have probably learned lessons from Amazon’s successes or tried to match their effective strategies. Perhaps you have considered how Amazon may be competing with you or tried to find ways to partner with the online giant. Maybe you have asked your sales team to pay attention to Amazon’s product matching and recommendations.

And if you haven’t at least discussed Amazon in your eCommerce strategizing, you should. Amazon is fast becoming a universal piece of every eCommerce business strategy. Don’t get left behind by leaving out a major player.

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