Two weeks ago, I was invited to participate in an expert group discussing the future of garden retail in the Netherlands and Belgium. Among the speakers was a very famous expert and he dropped the word “Amazonification”. I always like these words because you can use them exactly in the way it suits you. As a garden centre, you will already know how Amazon has an impact on your day to day life. With a 16% market share in the UK, 1 out of 6 online purchases are made via Amazon. Here are 4 reasons to brace for the Amazonification of retail!
Amazon is replacing Google
Do you think Google is the only place people are looking for products? You’re wrong! In fact, more people start searching on Amazon if they are looking to purchase products rather than on Google. The reason? Amazon has got everything and most of the time for a very competitive price. So why would you search elsewhere?
Apart from that, Amazon is way more than a webshop: it’s a lifestyle. Amazon Prime offers video, music, e-books and free shopping. Like Netflix, Amazon is producing its own TV series to create unique content. So, whether you want to order a book, watch TV or are desperately looking for a pizza: Amazon will help you out. It’s more than a webshop and competing heavily with Google to get into your life!
Not just online
Amazon is not just an online service: it’s expanding offline as well. In 2015 the first Amazon bookstore opened its doors, and eventually, Amazon will open about 400 bookstores in the US. But why is it opening bookstores? Buying books is for some consumers is a great moment to calm down and relax a bit. It also brings Amazon in touch with its loyal customers which helps to improve the webshop as well.
As well as bookstores, the first Amazon grocery store was launched, including a wave of new technology. You can just put products in your basket and leave the store without visiting a checkout. Sounds like an idiot idea? Think about the number of staff you save yourself as a business owner. As a customer, I would have loved to skip the queues of my own local supermarket last Saturday!
By opening offline stores, Amazon is increasing its footprint in the world and building a more intense relationship with customers.
Retail = detail, 7000 a-b tests per year
How do you get the most out of your customers? Asking this question sounds a bit awkward but isn’t this what we’re all trying to achieve, a well-filled shopping cart at the tills? You can measure everything in realtime on the internet, and you can use this data to improve your online marketing efforts.
I’m sure you’re familiar with a-b tests: you show different versions of one web page to visitors to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. We do that ourselves now and again, and it helps to improve conversion rates. Now you may wonder why the Amazon website looks so messy and, frankly, quite ugly. That’s because Amazon isn’t trying to make the most beautiful webshop in the world, they are testing a lot and are tweaking the site every hour of the day to get the most out of their visitors.
How many a-b tests did you do last year?
Amazon = innovation
A webshop opening a video channel? Same day delivery? One-click checkout? Drone deliveries? A webshop opening their datacenter for third parties? Did you know Expedia, Pinterest, Airbnb and Yelp all use the resources of Amazon to run their own successful websites? Whatever your opinion is, at Amazon they dare to leave the beaten path. They primarily focus on the chances and dare to put the troubles aside when they start a new adventure.
Just one more example of innovation at Amazon. If you’re running a webshop you know how time-consuming order picking can be. Some webshops in the garden industry have dedicated warehouses with stock and (cheap) staff to pick orders. Amazon has 45,000 robots picking orders in it’s warehouses. A huge investment but it saves a lot of money on labor, doesn’t it?
By keeping an eye on Amazon and following them whenever you can, you can be assured you’re following one of the most successful e-commerce companies in the world. As long as you’re able to provide a unique service to your customers, you don’t have to be afraid of Amazon but you can learn a lot from them!
If you want to learn how we can help you to integrate with Amazon and to apply innovations in your own garden centre, feel free to give us a ring on 0203 475 5541.
Enjoy your day!
Edwin Meijer, founder of Garden Connect