It’s always easier, and perhaps it’s human inclination, to try and assign blame to an external source rather than focusing internally when things are going poorly. In the case of the challenges across the retail landscape, Amazon has become the universal scapegoat. The current retail environment and slow growth were caused by the 2008-09 recession, the decline of department stores, changes in shopping malls, digital, and Amazon, according to a survey of retail executives by e-commerce marketing platform Bluecore and NAPCO Research.
“To be clear, Amazon is not necessarily killing off other retailers, but what it is doing is re-shaping customer expectations and raising the bar on what retailers need to do to win and retain loyal customers,” according to the report’s authors. “And that shift has sent many retailers into a tailspin because of the speed with which Amazon reached this seemingly untouchable position.”
- 36% of retailers saw their e-commerce sales grow by more than 10% from 2015-2016.
- 56% say they believe Amazon’s presence in their markets has increased in the past two years, a threat that many didn’t see coming.
- Almost 60% now consider Amazon at least something of a competitor.
- Most retail executives say they know they must collect customer data to provide a personalized experience—and 72% have taken steps to do so—because Amazon does this especially well, but how to accomplish that isn’t always clear.
- Most retailers don’t have a clear strategy for how to respond to the consumer expectations set by Amazon.
- 30% of retailers are joining Amazon to meet their goals, and partner with the retail giant to some extent.
Photo: Nigel Tadyane via Unsplash