Digital Solutions for Multi-Location Brands and Franchises

One company demanding attention in the first quarter of 2019

Now that the first quarter of 2019 is over, there’s one company (in particular) that has a few of us at PowerChord as confused and contemplative as the iconic business baboon.

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Let’s see if you can guess which industry giant we’re talking about with these clues.

Which company saw the following headlines in the last 90 days?

  • ________ $140 billion divorce: What you need to know.
  • ________ pulls out of planned New York City headquarters
  • Costco tops ________ as the new king of internet retail

 

If you chose Amazon and/or Jeff Bezos – then you’re right! Alexa is so proud of you!

The online shopping giant had a busy Q1, and it seems that the drama will continue through this year. Our team wanted to take a look at a few moves Amazon made that will have the biggest impact on retail, shopping, and eCommerce moving forward.

 

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Amazon to Close Pop-Up Kiosks

Amazon Pop Up Kisok Inside Whole Foods
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Remember in 2014 when Amazon began opening its tech kiosks in failing malls? Well about a month ago, Amazon announced it would be closing all 87 of its pop-ups that were littered across local malls, Kohl’s, and Whole Foods stores.

This is important for a few reasons.

  1. All of Amazon’s brick & mortar concepts (Amazon Go, Amazon 4-star, etc.) are experimental.
  2. Their purpose is to collect data on new/existing customers to better hone its approach.
  3. By taking small steps in and out of physical retail, Amazon can refine its strategy and avoid large, and potentially costly, mistakes.

 

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Costco tops Amazon as the new king of internet retail

Graph showing last ten years of Amazon's online retail scores vs. Costco

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According to the latest Retail and Consumer Shipping report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Costco took first place in the internet retail category. This ends Amazon’s decade as the front runner in this category.

 

Taking a closer look, here’s what this means for the retail industry.

  1. Despite the 2017 Whole Foods acquisition, Amazon still faces deep competition for retailers (Costco & Walmart) that have successfully cornered the grocery industry.
  2. Costco’s success with annual membership growth and renewal could be a guidepost for how Amazon utilizes its Prime memberships in the future.
  3. Connecting online and in-store experiences to keep customers happy online and coming back to warehouses will define the future of commerce.

 

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Amazon Pay integrates with Worldpay

Man holding point of sale system to phone for payment

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Worldpay processes transactions worth roughly $1.2 trillion per year – making them one of the largest payment technology providers on earth. And about two weeks ago, Worldpay announced they will be offering Amazon Pay as part of their payment and shipping options to their customers.

 

This headline was mostly overshadowed by the fact that Fidelity National Information Systems spent $43 billion to acquire Worldpay. Regardless, Amazon’s partnership with Worldpay is notable for a few reasons.

 

  1. This helps Amazon bring in more transactions under its Amazon Prime subscriptions.
  2. This move allows Amazon to layer on further services into the mix of merchants.
  3. Third party merchants could be added to extend it’s retail footprint even further.

 

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So what do all the headlines mean?

Tweet that reads "AMAZON, 1998: hello we sell books but online. Versus AMAZON, 2023: please return to your Primehouse for your nightly Primemeal, valued Primedcitizen

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What we’ve realized is that reading these headlines is like a game of chess. Each move the company makes is part of a bigger strategy to extend its reach beyond online shopping and into physical stores. It’s no surprise that they want to dominate brick & mortar retail – they are just taking their sweet, methodical time doing it.

What do you think? Will we all be living in an Amazon-dominated world as early as 2023?

If you’re like me, tracking all these moments will have you primed and ready for the Jeff Bezos world leader biopic. You’ll be streaming it off your Amazon Fire AR glasses while hanging out with your holographic Alexa.

 

Travis Tyler is a marketing specialist and contributing columnist at PowerChord. He’s also a novice improviser, hockey-player, and Spanish-speaker.

 

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