How Will ‘The Amazon Effect’ Impact eCommerce’s Future?
There are increasing numbers of shoppers heading for the screen instead of the store. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, online sales accounted for 14.5% — or $257.3 billion — of retail sales in the second quarter of 2022.
Take a step back and it’s clear this continuous uptick in online sales is a byproduct of “The Amazon Effect.” It’s a phenomenon that puts a name to the impact the retailer has had on both eCommerce and traditional brick-and-mortar business models.
That influence will continue to be felt for years to come, especially in these two areas
Thanks to Amazon, customers are accustomed to an almost entirely frictionless shopping process with near-immediate results, and it’s now spilling over into more traditional spaces. Customers want the same experience, whether in front of their computers or inside a shopping mall. But there are aspects of Amazon’s model that have nearly become standard practice due to their overwhelming influence on eCommerce — ease of checkout, multiple payment methods, eCommerce shipping management, and other order-fulfillment options.
Plus, Amazon’s stamp on the future of eCommerce will be felt further thanks to many competitively priced products and powerful recommendation engines. Innovations such as easy-to-find products, a one-click “Buy Now” option, and free delivery on Prime goods can help remove many disruptive elements of the buying experience.
Amazon has been strategic in diversifying and impacting the eCommerce of the future. As its marketplace grew more popular, the company’s need for centralized infrastructure services such as computing, storage, and databases became the foundation for Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Amazon’s success in eCommerce has enabled the company to amass an enormous consumer base (and collect lots of consumer data). With all that proprietary information, retailers can be more consultative to their customers. Plus, Amazon could use its global scale and trusted brand to provide more profound offerings in specific industries such as pharmaceuticals and financial services for consumers and businesses. Similarly, Amazon will likely market its expertise in distribution centers, fulfillment, eCommerce shipping logistics, and “last mile” delivery as a set of services to be sold to other businesses.
Amazon is equal parts forefather and disruptor in the eCommerce landscape, the latter of which figures to be true for the foreseeable future. The commitment to simplicity and diversity is crucial, and other retailers trying to make a mark in the eCommerce field should prioritize each of those tenets to continue making a mark with online buyers.
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